DR. GRAVITY by Dennis Haseley


Age Range: 12 & up
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 Blaming his terminal clumsiness--and all the ills of the world--on gravity's pull, a young man develops a potion that puts the buildings and people of his Ohio hometown up in the air. He doesn't foresee the results: intoxicated by a new sense of freedom, the once-stolid townsfolk become totally feckless, caring not what they eat, drink, or wear, and each concocts a rosy individual reality--except for Gabriella, who sees what's happening but feels powerless to prevent it. Eventually, she falls asleep, shedding tears for trees, fields, and her old way of life, and awakes on the ground. As is often the case in a Haseley story, the metaphor here overwhelms internal logic, plot (tenuous and snail-paced), and cast (mostly stock). The theme that too little care can be as dangerous to the spirit as too much is worthy, but even readers willing to tackle a book of this length to see it developed will be distracted by the lack of verisimilitude--among many other details, people aren't troubled by the thin air and high winds they would encounter four miles up--and by the proliferation of characters. In the end, they all weep themselves back to earth (the buildings conveniently follow), Dr. Gravity realizes his error, everyone is wiser, and romance flowers. An exercise in idea- and word-play: playful but portentous. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1992
ISBN: 0-374-31842-5
Page count: 322pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1992


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