Ménage

Alix Kates Shulman. Other Press, $14.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-59051-520-4
On a whim, trusting, childlike, gullible Mack McKay decides to install Zoltan, the once-famous émigré writer he meets at a funeral, in his sprawling suburban New Jersey home in order to nurture the blocked author’s next book. His real motive, however, is to give his frustrated wannabe writer wife, Heather, a literary companion and enliven his dull marriage. Zoltan is a caricature of creative sponging: lazy and overly dramatic. He talks up the novel he isn’t writing, ruins his host’s sleep, “borrows” diamond cuff links and bottles of wine, and robs the couple of valuable possessions and their lofty ideals. Heather draws all her validation from the men around her; she’s suspicious to the point of paranoia and possessive, an annoying shrew who views Zoltan as a sexual playmate, bought and paid for by her husband. As Zoltan grows more independent, the McKays close ranks. While money and privilege has rendered the couple hopelessly naïve, the bottom-feeding Zoltan has the street smarts and scavenging skills to con them. In the end, Heather and Mack are violated and disappointed, but their initial expectations were never quite clear. Say this is satire, because it’s hard to believe that such one-dimensional characters and hazy plot lines came from the same feminist author who wrote the classic Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 05/15/2012
Genre: Fiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-8177-9
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