Acting Alone by Tom Bradley, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Acting Alone

Acting Alone

by Tom Bradley
     
 

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R.V. Cassill called Acting Alone "a vast maelstrom spun from an imagination of superlative dimensions".

Stanley Elkin found Tom Bradley's first published novel to have "an incredible energy level".

The book they are describing opens at a cow college in Kansas, proceeds to holiday doings in Kiev, Nebraska, home of a disturbed young Marine recently released by the

Overview

R.V. Cassill called Acting Alone "a vast maelstrom spun from an imagination of superlative dimensions".

Stanley Elkin found Tom Bradley's first published novel to have "an incredible energy level".

The book they are describing opens at a cow college in Kansas, proceeds to holiday doings in Kiev, Nebraska, home of a disturbed young Marine recently released by the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, then spirals unpredictably toward Cheyenne Mountain, home of NORAD (the North American Air Defense Command) and the convent of the Servant Sisters of Saint Willibrord of Perpetual Adoration. There a dangerous plot spun by a renegade Mormon threatens to upset the protagonist's plans for material and marital well-being.

Editorial Reviews

John Christakos
Meet Sam Edwine, legend in his own mind. The anti-hero of Kyushu resident Tom Bradley's dazzling, disturbing first novel, "Acting Alone," desperately wants to see himself as a brilliant wordsmith, a buffed surf-god, a sex magnet, one of the last great humanists on the cusp of the Reagan reign. The rest of the world, however, sees Sam as a petty, sweaty, unpublished poet-cum-comp instructor at an agricultural college in Kanorado (the flats of west Kansas and east Colorad). In between feverish delusions of greatness, Sam despairs of ever attaining the fame and wealth he craves until he hits upon a lucrative form of literary prostitution: ghost writing the memoirs of one of the "new American saints"--the freshly released Marines who were held hostage in Iran. The protagonist of "Acting Alone" has good reason to agonize about his literary stature; the author has nothing to worry about. Bradley's formidable prose evokes the work of two towering Tom's, Pynchon ("Gravity's Rainbow") and Robbins ("Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"). Like Pynchon, Bradley possesses a technicolor imagination and the power to wield language like a stun gun; but he tempers his spiraling narrative with a reasonably linear storyline, and his cynicism with genuine affection for his characters, a la Robbins. The other earnest misfits in Sam's world are just as intriguing: There's Axelrad, the fervent neo-Marxist and Sam's circle-jerk buddy from prep school; Sam's student, Shannon, a flirty, flighty co-ed whose favorite expression of strong dislike is "For ick!"; and Shannon's sister, the sister--Sister Polycarpana, that is, the sensual malcontent nun of the Servant Sisters of Saint Willibrord of Perpetual Adoration. Sam's quest evetually takes the crew to the nun's Cheyenne Mountain order, nestled in the shadow of NORAD (The North American Air Defense Command) where Sam is confronted with a Mormon megalomaniac. The promo sheet for "Acting Alone" includes gushing kudos from literary heavyweights Stanley Elkin, Gordon WSeaver and R.V.Cassill. Cassill expresses one reservation, however, and it is worth noting. Cassill writes, "...I ntertain some conservative and/or humanistic wishes that the force majeure of (Bradley's) imagination could be, in a sense, domesticated..." Domesticated it is not. The cynicism in the book takes direct aim at the government, academia and a host of religions. Where you stand on the sacredness of these institutions will determine where you stand on Tom Bradley Readers who are able to set their preconceptions aside and judge the spectacle on its own terms, however, will not be disappointed. John Christakos published this review in Mainichi Daily News.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781563134449
Publisher:
BrownTrout Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
12/28/1994
Pages:
274
Product dimensions:
6.33(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.06(d)

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