Jane's Bad Hare Day

Carol Ann Sima, Author Dalkey Archive Press $21.95 (248p) ISBN 978-1-56478-072-0
Sima's relentlessly funny but uneven first novel follows the surreal adventures of middle-aged divorcee Jane Samuels after she is attacked by a giant hare on a midtown Manhattan streetcorner. Chasing the rabbit leads to a tour of the single woman's urban circles of hell: Jane encounters her ex-husband; his new wife, who is pregnant with the child Jane wishes she could have had; a hairdresser; and the crossing guard who witnessed her odd encounter. Sex runs rampant. It breaks out with strangers, among lovers, between old friends--and with walls. Walls play a large role in the book. They give advice, terrorize and are extremely well endowed. When the sex abates, Sima often fills the void with digressions about shopping, hair or clothes, though rarely with the lines of a plot. She writes with few stylistic inhibitions, as happy to regress (``I want my mommie and daddie'') as she is to coin aphorisms in archaic English (``Where romance falleth, logic ploppeth''). But as the puns proliferate, the characters, saddled with the author's overwhelming style, have little voice of their own. Sima's gift for wordplay dazzles at times, but most readers will want her to stop trying so hard to pull a rabbit out of her hare net. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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