by Houghton Mifflin Company Staff, Barry Hannah

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Prize for his first novel Geronimo Rex and twice nominated for the National Book Award, Hannah ( Hey Jack! ; The Tennis Handsome ) again exhibits his antic imagination and spare but striking prose style. In his eighth book, he deals whimsically with some of the same ideas Roth explored in The Facts, but unlike that autobiography framed with fiction, Boomerang, described as a ``tender weaving of novel and autobiography,'' is published as a novel. ``Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously,'' readers are warned in the front matter. When one encounters descriptions of ``the great publisher Sam Lawrence'' arriving in a stretch limousine or mention of ``the horrible brilliant Gordon Lish,'' one cannot help but speculate over the decision to call this fiction. And yet there are sweeps of narrative that are soaringly, daringly, brilliantly original. The intelligence and visceral emotions Hannah rams onto a page can leave a reader stunned. The narrative travels out into the past and then circles back, taking a boomerang's swooping path. Lyrical passages of childhood memories are balanced by strutting, rambling riffs on post-drunken quests for respect and too-frequent references to pussy and nooky. The result is a book that staggers under a load of extraordinary writing which seems somehow lazily shovelled together. Boomerangs are hard to control; a beautiful flight often turns into an uncontrolled landing in the wrong place. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Describing his book as a mixture of autobiography and fiction, Hannah offers us largely reminiscence. Like boomerangs, experiences reappear with striking force as Hannah moves from events of childhood to those of the recent past, careening from the harsh portrayal of senseless violence to a sentimental celebration of tenderness and love. While he mourns the untimely death of a friend, Hannah is drawn closer to Yelverston, an old man whose son has been murdered by drug pirates. This book contains echoes of the fine stories in Airships ( LJ 5/15/78), but some anecdotes are tediously circumstantial and others seem like exercises in name dropping. Like Hey Jack! (LJ 10/15/87), it is very short on plot and may be a disappointment to Hannah's fans.-- Albert E. Wilhelm, Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville

Read More

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >