cover image Reckless Eyeballing

Reckless Eyeballing

Ishmael Reed. St. Martin's Press, $12.95 (148pp) ISBN 978-0-312-66580-7

A Jewish stage director is killed by a mob of anti-Semitic ""Christians,'' a black female playwright flees the New York celebrity rat race, a young Caribbean playwright becomes a huge (but, he realizes, hollow) success, a masked black man shaves feminists' heads, an Archie Bunkerish Irishman sees the lightand yet nothing much seems to happen in Reed's (Mumbo Jumbo latest satire. Most of the book is devoted to long monologues by various characters against ``the enemy'': black men, black women, sexists, feminists, Jews, gentiles and occasional combinations. There is one hilarious scene, however, concerning a play that seeks to rehabilitate Eva Braun (portrayed as a victim like everyone else). The view of life at the top in a British colony in the Caribbean is devastating in its depiction of how rotten the ruling class can be to its own people. At the book's dreamy end, novelist-playwright-poet Reed seems to agree with Pogo: the enemy is us. (March 31)