Whore of Tiampuan

Harry Kondoleon, Author, Kenneth Kolson, Author PAJ Publications $15.95 (172p) ISBN 978-1-55554-026-5
His name familiar to theatergoers (his newest play, Zero Positive, recently opened in New York) Kondoleon's first novel concerns a young man, Antoine, who leaves his dull job in an art gallery and on a whim flies to Tjampuan, Bali. There he meets Cheryl Burden, who looks like a heroin addict, bakes cookies and doesn't believe in love. As in a Bunuel film, different times, places and characters are introduced, flow into one another and are then abandonedwith such speed that some of the story lines get lostbut the effect is initially energizing. Sketches and vignettes of the characters are fresh, fun and fast, as we encounter Cheryl's half-brother Paul Nobody, his mother, Caridad, and her uncle the anesthesiologist; follow black-haired Molly's affairs with an ex-translator, Cheryl's summer job with the Coffin family or Rhonda W.'s search for sex. One third of the way into the book, however, the story screeches to a halt: Antoine's real name turns out to be Frank and he launches into his own story with a resounding thud. He slowly describes his horrible parents and childhood, his love for Cheryl, the apotheosis of Paul Nobody, his feelings about God, insanity, prostitution and time in institutions. The fizzle-ending and Frank's jejune philosophic ruminations are especially annoying after the promise of the early chapters. (May)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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