Table Legs

Paul Lyons, Author New Amsterdam Books $15.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-941533-42-3
Andy Hessel, the narrator of this short first novel, is a high school student who spends every free minute in pool rooms on Manhattan's Upper West Side and 14th St. He runs with a pretty mean crowd of cue-pushers, dudes with names like Table Legs, Killer Diller, Hats Gonzalez, Rebel and Cigar Bill. But these characters are nearly interchangeable, and not even the mystique of pool can rescue this tepid walk on the wild side. Andy is hounded by his solicitous father; he's haunted by the death of Scorpio, a pal who gets jumped by a bunch of toughs; he makes out with girlfriend Maria but remains confused about sex. As a coming-of-age novel, the story goes nowhere. It's really about shooting pool, which, as the promo notes, has been one of the author's favorite pastimes. Spoiled by its callow, priggish narrator, this half-baked fable will appeal mainly to pool players and others who fondly remember New York City's bygone days of billiard glory. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 04/01/1998
Hardcover - 196 pages - 978-1-55821-798-0
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