This is a relentlessly dogged attempt to employ the metaphor of a four-piston engine (of a 1965 Corvair -- Nader's coffin on...

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FOUR-STROKE

This is a relentlessly dogged attempt to employ the metaphor of a four-piston engine (of a 1965 Corvair -- Nader's coffin on wheels) for the breakdown of a mini-commune of several of the least likable Princeton hangers-on one is ever likely to encounter in a book or any place else. These include Jason, the narrator -- a wealthy bum whose father suddenly and improbably decides to make him work for minimum wages on the graveyard shift at a condom factory right out of Modern Times; David, a mad genius sculptor of dead car pieces who promises to help rebuild Jason's dying engine if Jason will only move into his menage; K, David's girl, small and homey, a ""good fuck,"" whom David's getting sick of; and Donna, a beautiful psychopath with whom Jason and David both think they're in love, at least until she lets them screw her. Between Donna's frigidity, Jason's squeamishness (he uses his daddy's condoms, which to him symbolize gaskets), and David's and K's theorizing--they are the least active bunch of sybarites since Sodom turned to salt--except for occasional visits of an avant-garde theater troupe (with whom Jason and Donna are studying) who in true polymorphous fashion try to liven things up. Alas, to no avail! This is a pseudo-hip, secretly puritanical, first novel, sloppily written, illconceived, offensive to God, woman, and Princeton.

Pub Date: April 2, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974