Bloom, by the author of A Novel Called Heritage (1982), which won the Maxwell Perkins Prize, betrays the promise of the...

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BLOOM

Bloom, by the author of A Novel Called Heritage (1982), which won the Maxwell Perkins Prize, betrays the promise of the earlier work. Told by a 34-year-old manic-depressive, Lola Bloom, it's a romantic expression of R.D. Laing's thesis that the crazy are actually tuned into some higher reality--what Bloom would call ""the third level of irony."" Odd, that in a work espousing irony, there is no authorial voice to provide a counterpoint to the incessant bleating of self-pitying Lola, who swings from highs fueled by champagne and cocaine to lows when she believes she is a female cockroach. Lola Bloom is a tall, blond poor-little-rich-girl who lives in Hawaii. Her mother is the heiress daughter of a Hollywood tycoon, her father a clown-preacher, her sister a TV star. Her husband, Grant, looks ""like Tom Selleck"" and draws a syndicated comic strip. Repeatedly told he's funny, we're never shown any evidence of his wit. Meanwhile, the central conflict rests in Lola's belief that Grant wouldn't love her if she took Lithium, because if she were stable, ""I'd bore him out of his mind."" On the other hand, who wants a wife who would ""run through Waikiki asking every sailor if he wanted to fuck me. . .""? Grant leaves her; she tries suicide, twice; they get divorced, she starts therapy, then agrees to bear a child for a couple with fertility problems in order to pay her way through grad school. Finally, there's a reconciliation with Grant, and by the end of the book she's pregnant by him. This all takes place in a Honolulu composed of little more than street names and comments like ""Hawaii is so astounding."" This book wallows in self-consciousness and literary conceit. ""I remember reading somewhere that when Nabokov taught creative writing. . .anyone whose first sentence started off with 'I was born. . ."" failed."" Bloom, alas, fails, too, though it begins with her picture in her high-school yearbook.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1985

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Watts

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1985