THE DICK AND JANE by Abby Robinson


Email this review


The silly, piddling work/sex exploits of young Manhattan photographer Jane Meyers--who narrates these feeble episodes in an effortful, relentless comedy-slang that's part Valley Girl, part yenta, and part Mickey Spillane. Fired from her job as an in-house corporate photog, Jane starts doing freelance work for private-eye Domenic Palladino, a disappointment (""a dead ringer for Ratso Rizzo"") after Jane's reading of Hammett, Chandler, et al. Among the seedy assignments: snapping adultery-pix for a divorce case (""Price's labials pony-expressed across his lover's bodyscape""); catching a violent robber in the act of attacking a Soho-ish performance artist. Meanwhile, however, Jane's hot live-in affair with gorgeous ""Golden Boy"" Hank is going through a rough period. On a solo Club Med vacation Jane dallies with a Frenchman named LeCoq. (""We were off and phallicizing. . . Did I get off scot-free on the guilt end? Does shit cling to a shovel?"") Back home, she tries hard not to stray again. (""I told myself I had Moral Fortitude. My throbbing cunt couldn't have cared less."") But then Hank's increasing obsession with William Blake leads him to an Ohio cult-community called ""Golgonooza""--so Jane follows him out there, eventually realizing that one of the female cultists has stolen her Golden Boy. (When Jane confronts Hank with photo-evidence of his infidelity, ""My legs had turned to aspic and my keister'd shellacked itself to the campstool. My pump beat a tattoo in the brisket and my sprinkler system was ready to Niagara."") And at the fadeout Jane seems headed for steamy action with partner Palladino's gorgeous son Nick. (""It was time to put the pistol in the holster."") Vulgar without being sexy, jokey without being funny: amateurish shtick.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1984
Publisher: Delacorte