Dinosaurs on the Roof

David Rabe, Author . Simon & Schuster $26 (484p) ISBN 978-1-4165-6405-8

In his entertaining second novel, Obie Award–winning playwright Rabe (In the Boom Boom Room ) presents an overly eventful day-in-the-life of two women in smalltown Iowa. Elderly Bernice Doorley is convinced that in the company of Reverend Tauke and his followers, she will be on her way to heaven that evening, which, according to the reverend, is when the rapture is due to arrive. Bernice's main concern is who will take care of her beloved pets, particularly her old dog, General. On the outs with daughter Irma, Bernice turns to Janet Cawley, the eccentric daughter of her recently deceased friend, whose days revolve around jogging, drinking and sleeping with her married boyfriend. Bernice waits in her best outfit to be beamed up; Janet, meanwhile, has other adventures with a former student (she was a fourth-grade teacher). Serious topics like spirituality and mother-daughter relationships get an airing in this satire of American excess, but the proceedings end up increasingly contrived. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
Ebook - 512 pages - 978-1-4165-6413-3
Paperback - 484 pages - 978-1-4165-6406-5
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