Millar's first novel to appear in England--a paranoid romp through Brixton lowlife that's a trifle trashier than Lux the Poet (see above) but equally unpretentious and with a good share of laughs. Unlike Lux (the vainest male on earth), the antihero of this outing is paranoid Alby Starvation, small-time dealer in comic books and drugs who reports his low self-esteem with a stand-up comic's flair. (Mirrors are ""malicious objects. . .out to make me feel bad. I certainly don't believe they're as objective as they're made out to be."" When Alby feels bad, ""I think I'm the world's most unpopular person. When I feel good I don't mind so much that I am."") He has reason to be paranoid: the Milk Marketing Board has hired an assassin to kill him because his publicized allergy to milk has resulted in a drop in sales. (Actually, two assassins: the first was sidetracked by a religious conversion experience.) Besides which, a mysterious Chinese man has been trailing him--delayed a bit by his chauffeur's obsession with becoming undisputed champion of the ""Kill Another One"" video game. There are drugged-out shoplifters, reggae, urban angst, corporate machinations, callous Health Service doctors, and a subplot involving a lost crown and a psychic nurse as once again (as in Lux the Poet) various characters pursue (and hide from) each other through Brixton's squalid streets. Millar has limited ideas about theme and structure, but his punk-comic vision still sets off sparks.
Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1989
Page Count: -
Publisher: Fourth Estate--dist. by David & Charles