BODIES ELECTRIC by Colin Harrison


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 Harrison (Break and Enter, 1990) returns with the story of a 35-year-old widower who takes in a fleeing wife and her four-year- old daughter--at the same time that he's fighting for survival at the top of a communications conglomerate. Jack Whitman's rise to the near-top of a Time-Warneresque corporation was swift and well-rewarded. His personal life was equally successful until his pregnant wife was shot and killed by a drug dealer aiming at nearby rivals. Alone in his big Park Slope brownstone, Whitman now nurses his reflux-ravaged esophagus through the night, and protects his career from attacks on all sides during the day. His company is poised to merge with a German-Japanese conglomerate, an alliance that may take Jack to corporate nirvana or put him on the street. Taking the subway home one night, he meets a beautiful but exhausted woman who, with her little daughter, may be homeless--and after several days, a very tentative Dolores and her much less tentative daughter Maria enter his life. Dolores, a Dominican, has fled her Puerto Rican husband--she's not looking for a relationship, she just needs to stay off the streets. But Jack is clearly and powerfully attracted to her. When the husband picks up Dolores' trail and begins to threaten Jack, Jack hides her and the girl in his house, where she begins to carve out a home for the three of them. Meanwhile, Jack's professional life gets more and more frightening. He's been assigned the suicidal task of convincing the corporation's powerful chairman of the wisdom and inevitability of the megamerger, and the chairman is quite as dangerous as the maniacally vengeful husband.... Intelligent and totally absorbing. What might have been a routine corporate-basher becomes, in the hands of the very skillful, wisely observant, and profoundly moral author, a novel to remember. Walt Whitman haunts the story throughout and to great effect. (First printing of 60,000)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-517-58491-3
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1993


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