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Posted November 24, 2000
gritty unheralded masterpiece
This novel is a masterpiece. Nothing less. Any tale where the narrator describes the wind as 'kicking ...' without sounding in the least lazy, is worth checking out. It's this slang, for want of a better word, this rich Brooklyn vernacular, that gives the book it's immediacy and flavour. The voice of Kenny Becker is so very of it's time, so authentic. In fact it's hard to know where to begin in 'reviewing' a work so thoroughly well imagined. Price is one of those rare birds able to put powerful emotions in simple scenes and sentences. 'I was a grown man. A lonely man.' And it's the names I fell in love with here: La Donna, Donny, Jacki Di Paris. And Kenny. Always, at the centre of everything, there is Kenny. Kenny and his 'door to door'. Kenny massaging hand cream into through the webbing of an attractive prospect. Kenny dashing back to the bar in a haze of vanity and lust at 3 a.m. to score again. Kenny cajoling two teenagers into a game of basketball on a dead Saturday afternoon. Kenny doing his '150' situps to show an old pal what sort of shape he's kept himself in all these years. 'Kenny, Kenny, Kenny.' 'Donny, Donny, Donny.' 'B......t, b......t, b......t.' Strangely, this isn't a well known book: not to my knowledge. Maybe this is because parts of it are unpalatable. Try the scene where Kenny visits a brothel for 'a slice of moon pie'. Revolting, even the hardiest will agree. One of the braver scenes you'll stumble on in your reading life. I'll keep this short. The true measure of a writer is how well he or she does the really difficult things. Most writers fall flat relaying their character's dreams. The dream sequences in this book, sharp and potent, are the best I have read. Anywhere. And I've read a lot. And I recommend this tale. To anyone who loves to be taken strange places. Anyone at all. jh sydney australiaWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2012
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