After his magnificent Chernobyl (1987), Pohl returns in a playful mood: this lighthearted romp involves opera,...

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NARABEDLA LTD.

After his magnificent Chernobyl (1987), Pohl returns in a playful mood: this lighthearted romp involves opera, aliens-among-us, interstellar kidnap, and what-all. Reverse the title and you'll get the idea. Accountant Nolly Stennis was a promising opera singer until an adult bout with the mumps ruined his voice (and left him impotent too). Now, one of his clients has mysteriously vanished after being propositioned by super-rich patron of the arts Henry Davidson-Jones. Curious, Nolly talks to attractive Irene Madigan, whose cousin Tricia, a dancer and baton-twirler, has also disappeared. D-J, it emerges, owns Narabedla Ltd., a vast multinational conglomerate. While Irene keeps tabs on D-J's yacht, Nolly hesitates, decides to help Irene--and abruptly finds himself aboard an artificial moonlet orbiting (you guessed it) Aldebaran! A gaggle of weird alien races is operating a trading consortium, you see, with D-J supplying Earth artistes to entertain the various aliens. Nolly balks at signing up--after all, he's been shanghaied--but then an alien doctor/executioner restores his voice (and his sexual equipment). Suppressing his doubts, Nolly tours with the opera--until he learns that Irene has also been kidnapped and imprisoned. Somehow, then, Nolly and Irene must return to Earth to confront the meddlesome Davidson-Jones--who turns out to have altruistic motives. An odd mixture, readable and entertaining if somewhat erratic: amiable fluff, without the challenge or compulsion of the best Pohl.

Pub Date: March 1, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988