GAMES OF THE BLIND by Evelin Sullivan


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 Sullivan (The Dead Magician, not reviewed) has produced a third novel that delves deeply and obsessively into the nature of obsession itself: obsession with a person, with sex, with, beneath it all, the self. Paul Avery has committed a murder, and he painstakingly re- creates the tormented life that led up to his deed. He recounts a string of destructive relationships: a devastating and forever echoing affair with an older, married woman at age 14; a rawly abusive--sexually and emotionally--relationship with a cousin; and, finally, as an adult psychologist, a doomed liaison with a patient. Each is luridly detailed and analyzed from all possible angles. Very little happens, plotwise; this book does not read like the bare-bones outline for a movie. It's immensely literate and thoughtful, wonderful yet painful to read, trapping us as it does in a mind determined to leave no stone unturned--and each stone, overturned, reveals a swarm of psychologically slimy things. Paul recites and dismisses a litany of theories on the nature of romantic love: Freudian, Jungian, behaviorist, transmigratory (which, he points out, ``begs the question of the origin of love, since it merely transports it backward in time ad infinitum''). Although he constantly strives to fit himself and his lovers into psychological boxes, to label them and thus understand them, he knows on a deeper level ``how deficient models are at capturing the true feeling of dry, leeched fevered desire wanting with every pore to touch, with every fiber to embrace, eyes blinded by inner images, thoughts sealed off by love, lips cracked with longing, yearning, pleading for that other to be here, to stay, never never to leave.'' A fascinatingly claustrophobic book, spent entirely inside the narrator's twisted, relentlessly analytical, self-condemning mind. (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-88064-158-4
Page count: 208pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1994


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