cover image Random Walk: A Novel for a New Age

Random Walk: A Novel for a New Age

Lawrence Block. Tor Books, $18.95 (345pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93092-9

Block's latest novel is for New Age disciples or for readers interested in learning the tenets of the philosophy. Otherwise a ``random walk'' can be a tiresome journey. Guthrie Wagner, a bartender in Roseburg, Ore., hears a voice urging him to take a walk. The idea is so appealing that he quits his job, sells his car, and begins a trek toward the East though he has no specific destination. Along the way, Guthrie realizes he is almost starting life anew. He discovers that he has lost the urge to smoke, can walk miles effortlessly and is never cold when he sleeps outdoors. Guthrie's walk begins to appeal to others like Jody Ledbetter, a trucker who finds he has healing powers, and psychologist Sara Duskin, a blind visionary, and her son, Thom. Block ( When the Sacred Ginmill Closes ) intersperses the narrative with vignettes focusing on real estate investor Mark Adlon's obsessonkilling women. Of course Adlon is destined to join the walk. While Sara eventually explains to Guthrie the reason for their journey, the book contains no surprises. One wishes the author had channeled his positive energy elsewhere. (Oct.)