Tildy Soileu plays shortstop for a professional, fast-pitch, all-girl softball team in south Florida. Husband Karl, an...

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Tildy Soileu plays shortstop for a professional, fast-pitch, all-girl softball team in south Florida. Husband Karl, an ex-carny worker, stays home and drinks, dreaming of finding buried treasure. So, on occasion, this life all gets a bit much for Tildy--and on one of her breakouts she meets up with recently-released mental patient Jimmy Christo, who provides a welcome opening: they'll go to New York together (sodden Karl is in no shape to object or even mind much); and they'll try to do a drug deal that will provide money and entertainment. Up in the city, then, Tildy falls mildly for one of the dealers, a burnt-out genius named Levitski; meanwhile Christo gets in deep with Pierce, a rich boy turned degenerate, who sends him off to Tangier for the goods. But Christo gets burned out there: after the inevitable revenge he returns to Florida, where Tildy is once more ensconced. . . and where Karl, miracle of miracles, has by now actually found his treasure. And finally the owner of Tildy's old team puts a more on Karl's trove--which provokes some further gunplay. First-novelist Broun, working off a little Robert Stone and too much Thomas McGuane, doesn't seem to care whether or hot any of this even remotely fits together: incidents and episodes are piled up helter-skelter. In fact, the unfortunate title is appropriate: you sense Broun trying to see how much seediness--for its own sake--he can pack in without getting much closer than arm's length; though the prose isn't untalented, every line is loaded with an attitude, a cuteness, a slumming scorn. So, while South Florida may be 1980s-fiction's answer to the San Francisco of previous decades (see also Koperwas, below), here it's tired, passionless territory--with the glitter of exercise but no originality.

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 1982

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1982