PARADISE OVERDOSE by Brian Antoni

PARADISE OVERDOSE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The quest for ""coke and pussy"" blisters with pretension in attorney Antoni's first novel, a Bahamian brat pack also-ran that's ten years too late and ten times as dull as its 1980s prototypes. Chris, the bored 25-year-old heir to the Angostura bitters fortune, whiles away his wealthy, white time frolicking on his native Bahamian beaches with black sidekick and buddy-since-the-cradle Shark. Together they snorkel, wave their ""dicks"" at anything that walks, and have sex with trashy cocaine-snorting tarts. But they retain lofty aspirations: Shark wants to open a nightclub and get out of the drug trade; Chris wants to go steady with (read: exclusively ""fuck"") Robin, the avant-garde artist he meets and talks Duchamp with. It can't be said Robin and Chris converse; that would imply that they listen to each other. Instead they deliver vacuous alternating monologues, which somehow lead to a loving relationship. But Robin is riddled with cancer, as (Freudianly enough) was Chris's mother. It only makes her more appealing; she becomes Chris's raison d'être. He nurtures her through the medications and pain (imagining that his semen is a panacea), and she weans him from coke, while Shark falls on hard times when an evil drug cartel tries to control his nightclub. The ending is only happy in that it rescues readers from more pages of repetitive blither. Our sneering hero's unabated preoccupation with getting off rivals that of a prepubescent boy who cannot stop repeating his new dirty word. When Chris is not vile, he is ""sensitive"" in a selfish, strained manner. Robin is Central Casting's weak (and, in this case, bald) beauty on a pedestal. Only Shark elicits sympathy: He gets dumped by his best friend for a lousy girl. Like sex without a climax: leaves you frustrated and overtired.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0802134874
Page count: 254pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster