Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyExperiencing these weird, surreal, hilarious tales is a bit like stepping inside a Bob Dylan ballad. In ``The Phantom Limb,'' Dr. Allegro analyzes Mom's fecal sample to find out why she thinks her left arm is missing; in the title story, an Illinois philosophy instructor of Zen and good vibes, coached by Professor Feeling, his guru, lands a 10-year-old boy and a 36-year-old divorcee into the same bed, where they discuss Life. White's first collection was Heretical Songs. His latest batch of eccentric, improbable, rude and wickedly funny stories rings true. He creates odd characters who touch us unexpectedlya macho circus barker who falls in love with the frail hermaphrodite boy whom he exploits; a Sears clerk who becomes an exotic dancer; a humble toymaker who invents the Howdy Doody puppet; a tawdry but free-spirited jazz singer from Fargo, N.D.; an Italian poet who flees Mussolini only to land in a U.S. maximum-security prison, for reasons unclear. America's claustrophobic heartland is turned inside-out by a writer with a voice absolutely his own. Moody photographs that complement the text add a droll touch. (Dec.)
Library Journal - Library JournalWhite, who was raised in San Lorenzo, California, recalls that postwar suburban utopia through tenuously connected tales blending wonder, myth, and history. Rising from the melting pot of diverse cultures, the wacky escapades he relates are like tattoos that San Lorenzo wears beneath the cloth of the American dream. The ``idea of home'' that White uncovers is indeed a synthesis of cultures, ranging from the ticky-tacky houses of postwar America and the mythology of Disneyland to the traditions of Native Americans and Spanish conquistadores. Thus, White's youthful alter ego discovers mystery hidden in streets with Spanish names and finds that Native Americans were defeated because of a curse emerging from a Texas canyon where they slaughtered thousands of buffalo. A 19th-century man is raised from a peat bog; when the memories in his brain cells are tapped, he hauntingly recollects a forgotten past from a sunken yet not decayed mouth. Provocative, thoughtful, and entertaining, this work is recommended for public and some academic libraries.-- Brack Stovall, Carrollton P.L., Tex.
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