Books by Gretchen Hayduk

THE FRUIT COCKTAIL DIARIES by Brian Carmody
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

Every stale bohemian pose issues from the fictional journals of two 20ish New Yorkers, a straight woman recently arrived from Ohio and a gay man already steeped in the city's debauched amusements. Their respective ``Fruit Cocktail Diaries'' (so named because of the fruit printed on their covers) are salvaged from a Lower Manhattan junk bazaar and read by an anonymous third person. It's all here: the crummy jobs—both forlorn romantics wait tables; the mondo-hip downtown venues populated with trashy lounge denizens and the odd rock star (``I turned around, and there was Bono, leaning against the elegant doorframe''); a parade of former boyfriends for him and a cryptic club god for her (``You know, the guy who stares into space and dances around it''); and the obligatory catalogue of late-century, pop-culture detritus. Nothing happens to either of these dunderheads and with good reason—they're bores. Glum party boy pines for the lost '70s glitz of Studio 54 and snorts coke while his sunnier female counterpart bungles after the aforementioned dance-floor deity, who might just turn out to be her co-diarist. That the plot's main tension resides in a sitcom case of mistaken sexuality is the least of this first novel's problems; it's easily trumped by the protagonists' boozy collision at a costume party. Things perk up after that—he gets hit on by a new boss, she recovers some self-esteem, they finally meet over a haircut. But who cares? Not even the promise of the hero's faux Kerouac road trip and the heroine's continuing search for Mr. Goodbar on the subway can save this. (9 b&w photos) Read full book review >