After Goodman's smashing debut--the feeling-filled comedy of High On the Energy Bridge--it's disappointing to see him...

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THE FIRST TIME I SAW JENNY HALL

After Goodman's smashing debut--the feeling-filled comedy of High On the Energy Bridge--it's disappointing to see him running in a wrong direction, vaulting hurdles much lower than his novelistic knees: this second novel is a rock-band story of not much distinction and surprisingly little wit. Steve Potts, the narrator, is a Brooklyn kid who foregoes college in order to play piano and write songs. At a showcase club one night he comes across the beautiful Jenny Hall, a singer with a back-up band out of Ithaca, N.Y. And Steve and Jenny hook up immediately. But Jenny has her hidden complications: her brother Bobby, a Phil Ochs-ish protest singer, has seen fame come and go, leaving him a wreck; Jenny is already sleeping with the band's bass player, Danny; in any case, she's not the most faithful type to anyone. Still, both a new relationship and a new (Steve-included) band do take promising shape, with a recording contract, a tour, radio play. . . until a sudden change of guard at the record company flattens their hopes, which are mauled for good when the record is indefinitely delayed. And the decline in fortune also brings bad sexual vibes, partner-switchings, and some mutual disgust. A trite, predictable plot, delivered--in sorry contrast to recent rock-fiction by Laurence Gonzales and John Eskow--in a numbly unoriginal rock-novel style: ""Practicing the backup vocal I'd add later with Bird, watching Jenny through the glass, her voice hard, pure and bitchy but with enough cry in it you wanted to end her waiting for love right away, I forgot Bobby, Danny and what I might or might not have imagined. Madman lover, lost one more time in the music.

Pub Date: April 27, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1983