Quasi-mystical, pseudo-allegorical tale of an Australian spiritualist on the loose in England. Peach O'Hare, a mystic, scholar, and all-around metaphysician, is jolted out of his contemplative life one day when his wife Mogan announces she is pregnant. Since he's broke, Peach must suddenly renounce the life of pure spirit in order to support his baby. He decides to become a landscape gardener, in part because his skill is in construction (he has a spiritual ""Pharaoh's Tomb"" in his apartment that assists him in his daily meditation), and soon acquires jobs building and digging up backyards for wealthy, bizarre Londoners. For Peach, these jobs are acts of spiritual portent. A patio project is undertaken as an attempt to create William Blake's ""City of God, Jerusalem the Bride."" Peach has help in his Everyman labors from a twisted, cartoonlike group of friends: 3-Tooth McGuire, an electric-guitar freak who worships Jimi Hendrix; Allwrath the Druid, a fellow spiritual quester; and a flitty eccentric named Fergus. Accordingly, the story forgoes reality for mental games; it proceeds like an acid trip, climaxing, for example, when Peach confronts the figure of Death whistling the ""Age of Aquarius."" The book thus seems a kind of cross between, say, Edmund Spenser and Tom Robbins. Unfortunately, Lyons is such an amateur stylist and storyteller that much of his invention comes off as pretense, and the story drags badly after just a few pages. Fun for a minute, and then a crashing bore.
Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1988
Page Count: -
Publisher: Andre Deutsch--dist. by David & Charles