THE DISSENT OF DOMINICK SHAPIRO by Bernard Kops
Kirkus Star

THE DISSENT OF DOMINICK SHAPIRO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dominick Shapiro, our sixteen year old hero, will have none of it: school, creeping suburbanism, hypocrisy, his horrible pink niece Baby Dawn, and especially his parents who stifle his need to dissent by being reasonably understanding and loving. The boy vows to get out of the middle class muddle. At a wedding, with ""uncouth uncles and crappy cousins,"" drunk and clad in his great grandfather's oversized Mother Russia fur coat, he forces the issue. ""I avenge! I avenge! I denounce the travesty of family"" he yells, and accuses Uncle Barry of ""having"" Cousin Rosalind. Brother Malcolm hits him in the mouth and Dominick leaves home to run with a group of free-living, free-loving, freeloading English street beats. He makes love frequently to a weird Socialist socialite and in a final gesture of defiance, climbs Big Ben. By morning he is a culture hero-freak. Somewhere along the way though Dominick Shapiro realizes what has been bugging him. Not Mama or Papa or the Big Bomb but death. His small war turns out to be the prelude to a life of quiet desperation....Dominick Shapiro is not merely another Holden Caulfield or Morgan or Billy Liar. In the brilliant hands of Bernard Kops, his specific defeat is very special. The novel is black, pathetic and enormously comic. It is a ""song of chaos"" rendered splendidly and the novel should finally bring to Kops the recognition he deserves.

Publisher: Coward-McCann