TOBIAS AND THE ANGEL by Frank Yerby

TOBIAS AND THE ANGEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yerby's 26th, his sales already over 50 million in all editions, is his worst, if possible--abysmally mawkish, illiterate, befuddled, slapdash, seemingly typed at top speed with his toes. Tobias Tobit returns from the war--any war, either World War or Korea or Vietnam, Yerby doesn't care--perhaps shellshocked and in tow of a six-foot-four, brogue-speaking angel assigned to him by a very confused God (""Ye see,"" the angel explains, ""when Night 'n Chaos give birth to Him they forgot--or weren't able--to give Him control over Random Chance 'n the Absurdity Factor. That's what really fucks things up, th' Absurdity Factor.""). Anachronism (its punch fades on page one) and ""Blind Accidenticality"" rule as Tobias leaves New England for the South in search of li'l Clara, one of his identical twin cousins. Banality deepens to supreme discomfort, with shredded narrative and supinely flopping free association in search of a cheap pun, panhistorical pretension or metaphysical leer. When twin Sara gets happily raped: ""A titanic shudder whipped visibly through her slender body like a shoreward-racing wave; her mouth tore open, desperately gulping air. Then she racked hearing out of existence with a scrape of steel on glass so high and terrible that Tobias felt it in his ears, his throat, his guts. . . a screamshriekshrilling of such pure shething bitchthing tortured ecstasy, an orgiastic transmogrification of orgasm's very--endless, multiple--self, into such unbelievable intensities of sound. . . mouth opened, gasping, sobbing, shaking, her tongue protruding, the foam of utter madness flecking the corners of her lips, her eyes senseless, wide-stretched, unseeing and--

Pub Date: May 29th, 1975
Publisher: Dial