Goldenrod

Peter Gault, Author Permanent Press (NY) $24 (207p) ISBN 978-0-932966-82-7
The author of this unsophisticated first novel self-published his book in Canada in 1984, where it apparently earned favorable reviews. The story follows narrator Ken Harrison from his senior year in high school to college, with glimpses of post-college life. Ken lets us know right away, via heavy anatomical detail, that he's a narcissist. As he ""progresses'' from high-school hockey star to would-be actor, Ken relates incidents of his school and sex lives, which revolve around bars, his one true love Elizabeth, his family, his friends and, of course, himself. At one point in this exuberant, if pointless, tale, Ken exclaims, ``I'm a spoiled brat!'' We know that. Suburbia and good manners seem the chief villains, but Ken's egotistical self-regard (``I fascinated myself'') is equally to blame for his problems. One of the ways our hero shows his age is his attention to baser bodily functions, meaning, at least, that he's not just a Ken doll. In a cloying introduction, Richard Kalich tells how he encountered Gault hawking his self-published book on a New York street corner. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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