Hochman (Endangered Species, Jogging) specializes in the identity crises of poetic 40-year-old women, and this is her most...

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PLAYING TAHOE

Hochman (Endangered Species, Jogging) specializes in the identity crises of poetic 40-year-old women, and this is her most longwindedly pretentious variation on that theme yet--with the usual verbal overkill compounded by an unconvincing milieu: the world of rock-pop music. Sylvia Lundholm has been a top lyricist for 20 years, with composer (ex-lover) Nick Dimani; she found fame and promiscuity in the Sixties (""She sucked and ate almost anyone"") and affairs in the Seventies (""I'm fucking. As well as sucking""). But now she wants to quit the biz and find a simpler life with her new lover, ""the ultimate cocksman,"" 34-year-old high-society dropout Rev Cranwell. ""He's my solar buddy, my new happiness. . . . I want to get rid of the knots in my body and be a woman in the street once more. . . . I want to shout against the wind, to get rid of all my ghosts and be free to find my own condition. . . ."" And so on, ad nauseam--despite gorgeous gigolo Rev's one little problem: he has no ""emotions or pain."" But dependent partner Nick--a Jewish street kid from Brooklyn--is naturally determined to keep Sylvia writing, to get her to dump Rev. So they all wind up together at Harrah's at Lake Tahoe--where Nick is performing and working on what may be his last album with Sylvia. Also around: young casino dealer Laurie, Nick's latest mistress; Nick's facelifted wife Rita, who's ""after young cock""; Sylvia's old college chum Nancy Chan, a radical fundraiser (she ends up in bed with Rev); and bisexual tycoon Lionel, who owns the Dimani/Lundholm catalogue, wants a piece of the new album, and still lusts after Sylvia. Flashbacks ensue, also sex, chat, Tahoe history, and repetitious interior monologues (""She had a Homeric vision of her life"")--but no action. . . until the last few pages, when psycho Rev gets homicidal towards Nick, his rival for Sylvia's soul. With unlikable characters, implausible behavior, some breathtakingly awful prose, and unmusical (but hardworking) attempts to be cool about disco and punk--the crudest and most humorless of Hochman's midlife-crisis churnings.

Pub Date: June 1, 1981

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Wyndham/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1981