Maya

D. N. Stuefloten, Author F2c $20.95 (138p) ISBN 978-0-932511-58-4
This first novel from Stuefloten, whose biography includes stints as a smuggler and black marketeer, is disappointing--if only he had drawn more heavily on his past for this tale of violence and sex on a movie set. The book is a series of 36 brief vignettes that begin as ``shots'' from a film in progress. Stuefloten gradually transforms them into a film-within-a-film and finally into a novel-within-a-novel. The book focuses on an ill-matched trio, an untalented but voluptuous blonde, a failed playwright who in desperation turns to acting and a jaded and aging matinee idol who is losing his looks. The three are stranded somewhere in Mexico making a movie about the Vietnam War. Or is it a movie about being stranded in Mexico making a movie about the Vietnam War? Relentless overwriting, facile philosophizing and an all-too-easy equation of sex and violence (``Semen flew through the air like shrapnel, precious seed spilled like blood . . . .'') pervade the book, which only comes alive in the final section, in which Stuefloten reveals his own role in its creation. Suddenly, but briefly, Maya flashes with wit and charm and suggests that its author has talent waiting to emerge more fully. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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