cover image Buster's Midnight Cafe

Buster's Midnight Cafe

Sandra Dallas / Author Random House (NY) $17.95 (277p) ISBN 97

Narrator Effa Commander's rollicking reminiscences about movie star Marion Street and her devoted lover, champion boxer Buster Midnight, are recounted in a sharp and snappy voice that captures the reader's interest on the very first page of this amusing novel. Effa Commander and lifelong friend Whippy Bird shared childhood, adolescence, Prohibition and many other experiences with Marion and Buster in their hometown of Butte, Mont. They also know much more about the Hollywood scandal called the ``Love Triangle Murder'' than ever got into the papers, and Effa Commander has decided to vindicate her friends' misrepresented lives. Dallas's first novel depicts a remarkable cluster of enduring friendships that may strike the modern urban reader as implausible, but accurately reflect the flavor of a small town and its inbred relationships. If the denouement seems predictable, Dallas, whose work calls to mind Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe , is nonetheless a stylist to be reckoned with. (Apr.)