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Otis: On the Occasion of His Foray into the Wilderness of Civilization

Otis: On the Occasion of His Foray into the Wilderness of Civilization

by Paul Limbert Allman

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This unusual and charming first novel is a tall tale, recounting the adventures of Otis Gully, a naive lad who vows to ``plug up'' the Mississippi River because it is ruining his father's rain-barrel business in Braggadocio, Mo. He falls in with the Holy Habitat, a bunch of religious fanatics who convince him that he needs their help to complete his mission and, in order to win it, must go to wicked New York and find their lost goddess. Within seconds of arriving in the big city, Gully's coat is stolen (the thief is subsequently murdered by villains seeking Otis) and, under the impression he's hailing a taxi, he stumbles into a vehicle owned by Ciro Bellafiga's Therapeutic Driving University--which leads to a weekend of wild sex with student-driver Mary. After that, things get really strange. Posing as a news cameraman, Otis nearly gets killed by a bomb accidentally detonated by the AntiNice cult. His distraught father, believing him dead, comes to New York and winds up sitting on a traffic island in a barrel full of dimes. All paths eventually lead to a woman named Hank, whose sneeze can restore lost youth to those hit by its spray. Impossible to summarize or explain, this first novel is Some Tale Indeed. (Apr.)
Library Journal
In a small Missouri town along the Mississippi, Tom Gully, a barrel maker, orders his son Otis to kill (dam) the river. Otis sets out and falls in with a fanatic religious group that promises to help if he will go to New York and bring back ``Our Lady,'' who may or may not be a captive. Otis plans to pose as a photographer, and off he goes with camera to the big city. His adventures are wild, surrealistic, and often very funny. He participates in a bombing, a riot, and a fountain of youth scam. Eventually, Otis builds a boat of barrels to return to Missouri. The characters, sex, and coincidences are appropriately zany, and the writing is smooth. This offbeat first novel is not for everyone, but some readers will love it. For large popular collections.-- Robert H. Donahugh, formerly with Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio

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St. Martin's Press
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1st ed

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