Going for Broke

Paul Lyons, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $17.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-945575-45-0
Lyons's fascination with gambling, evinced in Table Legs , reappears in the story of Jason, a compulsive gambler who seeks self-realization on a hitchhiking expedition through Europe. Jason obsesses over his ex-girlfriend and the allure of wagering in spite of the distractions provided by a predictable assortment of perverts, revelers and lonely women who pick him up along the way. When he meets a flirtatious American vagabond named Cynthia, his implacable self-pity wanes briefly, but the romance is soon jeopardized by a carload of decadent musicians who take the couple along on a druggy spree in France. Jason and Cynthia are in over their heads as the dangerously hedonistic troupe swigs wine, snorts cocaine, slaughters and messily devours a pig and conducts violent sexual escapades. Cynthia feels threatened and Jason must choose whether to escape alone and unscathed or to rise above his selfishness to rescue her. The finale finds Jason in the casinos of Monte Carlo, confronting his vice on a grand scale. Although his attempts at decency and valor are admirable, Jason's continuous introspection is tiresome, and the exaggerated characters and situations progressively weaken the plot's credibility. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-517-11460-5
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