A weirdly engrossing book that is about nothing so much as its own energy, as it jumps dazzlingly from event to event, casually skipping years here and there in total indifference to causality, psychology, and symbolism -- all the conventional devices that over-imbue our ordinary novels with ""meaning."" The scarcely visible narrator (a black middle-aged grandma) chats irrepressibly and with fine use of idiom about her pals in Oakland, California -- Katie the Liar, the endless gossips and tattletales, and especially the Boar-Hog woman who runs the barber shop where the no-good husbands of the women hang out. People come and go, some die, some err, but most just run around with a sort of charming harmless mindlessness. Eventually the Boar-Hog woman returns with her son the Singing Cricket to the desert and hog troughs in which she may have been born, leaving the reader with nothing but an incredible kaleidoscope of events which is more than enough. . . if special.