Going to Patchogue

Thomas McGonigle, Author Dalkey Archive Press $19.95 (213p) ISBN 978-0-916583-87-3
Opening with snippets of information about the Long Island, N.Y., town of Patchogue which, the reader is warned, may not be true, McGonigle ( The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov ) sets the tone for this novel of memory with a narrator contemplating suicide. Tracing a journey to Patchogue from ``the City,'' a stay there and a return, the narrator (whose name is Tom McGonigle) tells an episodic and disjointed tale in earthy and demented prose, echoing that of Celine, who is often quoted. Into his stream-of-consciousness prose McGonigle splices railway schedules, poetry, reproductions of handwritten notes and scenes from a play, all of which work to expand the boundaries of the narrative. At the end of his peregrinations, the narrator comes to realize that his life has been empty and pointless: he is left with merely the ashes of his experiences. While many may find this literate and haunting novel difficult, others will treasure it as an exploration of those recesses of the mind where we can be most honestly ourselves. For McGonigle that territory is called Patchogue. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-56478-663-0
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