The Vandal

Tom Molloy, Author Permanent Press (NY) $24 (178p) ISBN 978-0-932966-98-8
This eloquent second novel (following The Green Line ) charts the pilgrimage of its nameless protagonist. A veteran of the combat following the official end of the Korean War, he temporarily leaves wife, child and domestic bliss to fulfill a calling and minister to a nation where ``truth is in short supply.'' After a brief rendezvous with a fellow soldier of a similarly mystical bent, he carves out a separate, secret, ghost-like existence in the metropolis of wintry Boston. His mission: chiseling cryptic messages onto walls, poles, bathroom cubicles. His country is talking to him and he is making modest yet philosophically significant replies: ``One and one is one,'' ``Peer within,'' ``Beware love.'' Written with wit, intelligence and poetic flair, Molloy's tale is a litmus test of the spiritual climate of contemporary America. Mass market rights to Knightsbridge/Polo. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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