Comparing this sorry little novel to Nabokov's Lolita (as the publisher's blurb shamelessly does) is like comparing...



Comparing this sorry little novel to Nabokov's Lolita (as the publisher's blurb shamelessly does) is like comparing Gilligan's Island to Gulliver's Travels. ""Jasper Evian""--the narrator as well as the (understandably) pseudonymous author--is, aside from the superficial basic hangup, no Humbert Humbert. He's a 32-year-old N.Y. dialogue writer for porno films (""I wanted to make pornography because I wanted to tell the truth"") currently suffering because his remarried ex-wife Perky (so nicknamed for her orgasms, which are like brewing coffee that ""gurgles and bubbles"") is planning to move to Montauk, with her rock-star husband and six-year-old daughter Ara; Jasper won't be able to have fun with Ara anymore--like taking her to porn-movie parties. But then Jasper meets beautiful, totally unlifelike Stephanie, eleven-year-old daughter of his latest shack-up Deborah (""I fucked this one and I fucked that one""). Stephanie, you see, is incredibly honest and deep and understanding, immediately accepting Jasper's semi-lustful attentions: ""She was revealing what she was in flesh. . . I was so afraid. And so alive."" So they commune together but postpone sex, as author Evian holds out the will-they-or-won't-they tease: ""What could I do that would prolong the pleasure we were both obviously beginning to take with one another and not transgress upon her cherishable soul or damn my own?"" And finally, after a visit to his Massachusetts parents with Stephanie (and after some discussion about whether or not Stephanie is just a substitute for Ara), Jason returns his pre-teen near-mistress to her father. . . and kidnaps his own little girl: ""It didn't matter that our flesh was private and discrete. She was written in my being."" Some sort of accomplishment: a small book that manages to be arch, smutty, grossly sentimental, and drearily pretentious all at once. Otherwise--negligible.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 1980


Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1980

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