Night Train

Todd Walton, Author Mercury House $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-916515-13-3
Charlie, who is stoned and driving a stolen car, picks up Lily, who is running down Sunset Boulevard, trying to save herself and her baby from Pearl, a covetous woman of influence and power. The bulk of this rambling tale is taken up with Charlie's and Lily's escapades along the California and Northern Pacific coast as they stay just beyond Pearl's reach. There are murders, drugs and rhapsodic sex as Charlie, a nearly middle-aged carpenter/songwriter, and Lily, an ex-hooker with a singing voice people are willing to kill over, find love and reason for hope in each other. With such suggestions of science fiction (maybe it's just California whimsy) as a turquoise blimp and a city-sized geodesic dome, Walton's new bookhe also wrote Inside Moves and Louie & Womenis reminiscent of earlier sprawling hippie-era novels by Kesey and Pynchon. This one, though, has a veneer of sentimentality and a vagueness of purpose that severely diminish its punch. (September 15)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
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