FREEDOM BEACH by

FREEDOM BEACH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A hard-working but indecisive and only intermittently intriguing reality-puzzler that displays flaws typical of collaborative efforts: a nebulous main theme, a confusion of purposes, and a general lack of finn control. Shaun Reed wakes up one morning at Freedom Beach, an escape-proof tropical resort run by mysterious machines representing the ""dreamers""; they say Shaun is there voluntarily for a psychiatric cure but, with no recollection of his previous life, Shaun isn't convinced. During real-seeming dreams, Shaun is given back selected memories--or is fed plausible inventions; Shaun isn't sure which. Also, in a literary-games vein, he becomes a character in various dream-parodies (of Marlowe, Aristophanes, Raymond Chandler), during which he must confront the suicide of girlfriend/wife Myrna. Although Shaun has never written anything, he calls himself a writer; Freedom Beachers are forbidden to write--but Myrna leaves him a poem as a sort of suicide note. Eventually, Shaun escapes from Freedom Beach back to the reality of 1986--where, suddenly, the ubiquitous ""dreamers"" (in the utopian sense) are in control of the world, apparently doing good deeds. Shaun remains unpersuaded, though the dreamers tell him he can change things if he doesn't like them; and finally he starts to write. The main problem is just what all this adds up to, or indeed whether it adds up at all. So, what with the vague psychologizing (self-help, 1980's style) and the parable-like feel (unconvincing utopian leanings), the upshot is a tangled but lightweight and fugitive drama.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1985
Publisher: Bluejay--dist. by St. Martin's