A MAN JUMPS OUT OF AN AIRPLANE by Barry Yourgrau

A MAN JUMPS OUT OF AN AIRPLANE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

On a bet, a man climbs inside a cow."" ""I'm in bed with a girl whose head is on crooked."" ""A man rents two bears."" These are typical opening lines in this slender collection of about 75 mini-sketches--some of which simply put forth a surreal image, many of which read like transcriptions of dreams. At his best, Yourgrau can be absurdly amusing--as in ""Travelogue,"" about a narrator with a bad scalp condition who goes to the doctor. . . yet the doctor seems to be a travel agent. A few of the images are striking: a man with a glass throat in ""Ars Poetica,"" sheep on a supermarket roof. But too often the bizarre anecdotes, when not merely silly, slide over into pretentiousness--seeming to suggest that there's guru-like profundity to be found here. (There isn't.) And the pieces on sex are particularly morbid, artsy, and/or clinical: in the two-paragraph ""The Sadness of Sex,"" death and sex are laboriously linked, as a voyeur's binoculars metamorphose ""into a pair of gilt, high-heeled sandals, with morgue numbers scratched in the rhinestones""; in ""The Surprise,"" the narrator's girlfriend, who has undergone massive reduction (she's now one-foot tall), has crude restaurant-sex with a phallic piece of spaghetti. Undeniably imaginative doodles, then, but only a few of them have any impact or staying power.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1984
ISBN: 1559704861
Publisher: SUN (347 W. 39 St., New York, NY 10018)