BLACK ANGELS by Bruce Jay Friedman
Kirkus Star

BLACK ANGELS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Friedman (Stern; A Mother's Kisses) can play it black, cool, sick, gimmicky, profound. And he does it all here in spades. This medley is good, bad, quite mad of course and unforgettable. He is best with the obsessed: the character who suddenly realizes that he hasn't thrown a punch in 25 years and goes looking for a victim, the nympho with a peculiar hang-up, the man who equates vacation with sex, the boy deluded by the notion that he can save his dying father by doing something out-rageous, the semi-masochist who simply has to feel victimized as a rationalization for his failure in life. Friedman also manages to make something work on three different levels as in the title story when a householder whose wife has deserted him hires an amazingly cheap outfit to fix up the place...but he discovers that they are terribly expensive when he needs them to touch up his psyche. Occasionally a story will seem like an extended sick joke as in The Night Boxing Ended when ringside hecklers goad a boxer to literally ""Knock his head off."" And his ventures into Science Fiction just don't click. But Friedman has an acid touch under a smooth finish. He can be wonderfully wicked.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster