This is a celebration of blood and violence contained in that overfamiliar father-son trip into the wilderness that will...

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BLOOD SPORT: A Journey Up the Hassayampa

This is a celebration of blood and violence contained in that overfamiliar father-son trip into the wilderness that will transform boy into man (or man into beast?) -- namely up the Hassayampa, an irritatingly mythic river that surfaces everywhere from China to upper New York state. It also contains every assortment of fish and monster (from 250 pound pike to mastodons and unicorns to Mao Mao -- or is it Mao? -- terrorists and Japs left over from WW II) as it encompasses all Time. Actually the father is in search of the one-eyed Ratnose/Ratanous/Rotznase -- a vaguely immortal bandit, German doctor, railway conductor, and cannibal who quotes Joyce and Heidegger (and reads Sufistic lilt in Arabic) as he destroys babes and pups for sport. Pissed at his father for the latter's alleged softness (so far each has killed but one human being), the son goes off to join Ratnose's band for a while: a life of endless killing of man and beast, drug-filled orgies in which women's bodies become somewhat less personal than scum bags, and general dumping on the lives of city folk, hippies, and other enemies of survival of the unfittest. An indefinite blood-filled time later, the father comes to reclaim his flesh-and-blood, defeating Ratnose in a symbolic confrontation presumably between city and country; and the son, for reasons unclear and probably sentimental, goes with him, possibly to express his hatred of a civilization. This is an hysterical, purposefully disgusting hallelujah to the Wild West credo that is responsible for America's most destructive capacities.

Pub Date: April 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974