Swanny's Ways

Steve Katz, Author Sun & Moon $22.95 (550p) ISBN 978-1-55713-209-3
The last installment in a trilogy (Wier & Pouce and Florry of Washington Heights), Swanny's Ways has nothing in common with Swan's Way save sheer length. The book concerns the tribulations of one William ""Swanny"" Swanson, a self-involved person with supposedly endearing flaws, and his attempts to maintain romantic relationships after the death of Florry O'Neil, the object of a high school infatuation. Katz's detailing of obsessive desire is basically a written exercise in sophomoric and vindictive wish-fulfillment. With writing that appears to be embellished diary entries from the 1970s interrupted by passages of maudlin ""highbrow"" prose, it entirely convolutes story line, narration and characterization. One needs talent and skill to write a first-person narrative that smoothly pretends to the author, and that quality isn't here. Both bitterly misogynistic and race-baiting, Katz's sexual and solipsistic fantasies are been better suited for the couch of a therapist: in short, this is an attempt at narcissistic revenge masquerading as a work of experimental fiction. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995
Release date: 01/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
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