Alex Wants to Call It Love

Silvia Sanza, Author Serpent's Tail $13.99 (0p) ISBN 978-1-85242-214-1
This dark first novel is rife with empty relationships and unbridled angst as experienced by a group of rootless, clueless New Yorkers. Though set in the present, the book seems awash in a '70s tide of casual drug use and sex. The plot centers on four characters: Kary and the distractingly named Fiarette, fickle young women who wobble from depression to giddiness, often overlapping the two; the waifish, pill-popping Alex, who, along with an abiding faith in love, has a propensity for remarks like, ``I never know where I'm going until I'm there. It complicates reality''; and the middle-aged Martin Worthy, who turns to writing rather than sex to soothe his stormy soul. The characters alternately search for connection and long for solitude; Sanza is adept at conveying the frustrations of failed intimacy and the rarity of true communication between even the closest of friends. However, the stilted dialogue, consisting largely of non sequiturs and elliptical philosophizing, eventually strains credibility and patience, and the self-serious, self-absorbed characters are difficult to care about. When one lost soul leaps to an early death, readers may feel secretly relieved. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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