Rush to Nowhere

Howard Lewis Russell, Author, Howard L. Russell, Other Dutton Books $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55611-075-7
Russell's frenetic first novel, set against the New York City shadows cast by literary predecessors Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney, is a roller coaster of a read that races through one fate-riddled week in the life of a struggling young writer named Dancer. A cynically slick study in urban survival, the story begins when Dancer witnesses a misdirected murder in the ""bowels of the Antechamber of Hell'' (Grand Central Station) while he waits for the ``train of tears'' to take him back to the rundown apartment he shares with an army of roaches and a zoned-out roommate named Zinc. Dazed by the gruesome homicide, he stumbles out into the streets and wanders over to the waterless fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel, where he's befriended by an aging ex-starlet who's looking for love and a comeback. What follows are seven days of implausible yet gripping events, which sweep Dancer to Alabama for a disastrous family reunion, to Atlantic City where he wins $2000 in 10 seconds, to London for the funeral of an infamous rock star, to Greenwich Village where his destiny is read by a streetwise soothsayer and to a cocaine-related event that lands his roommate in prison. The story becomes even more farfetched when one considers that in the midst of this karmic chaos, Dancer also manages to hold down his job as an advertising assistant, and even finds time to cultivate his movie-star romance. Plot notwithstanding, Russell is a master at character development and dialogue and this present-tense narrative marks the arrival of an exhilaratingly clever author. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-35941-4
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