RAT STEW by Craig Silvis


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Gusman's pop-primitivist monster added to the fun of Crowley's Boogey Man (1978), but her cartoons here are as fiat and vacant as Silvis' eight-line rhymes about unlikely duos. The verses might be cute (""Eugene was a toadstool/ and Rita, an elf""), philosophical (""Charlotte's a memory/ and Joel is a hope""), or just silly (""Albert's a window/ and Lulu, a shade""); but in too many cases the second four-line stanza merely trails along, anticlimactically, behind the first. For example, ""Kendall's a lantern/ and Ann is the night./ She gives him meaning/and he gives her light.// But every twelve hours,/ Ann goes away./ And Kendall sits waiting,/ disliking the day."" And with all 14 entries jogging on in identical rhythm, the whole effect becomes that of a mechanism running down.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1979
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin