GOING NOWHERE FAST by Gar Anthony Haywood


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This farcical change of pace from Haywood's Aaron Gunner series (You Can Die Trying, 1993) introduces the Loudermilk family: Big Joe, a retired police officer; his wife, Dottle (who establishes their uniquely affectionate domestic ambience early on when she sighs, ""I could almost feel his loving hands closing around my throat""); and their (ugh) children, whom they sell their house and buy an Airstream trailer to get away from -- only to find, while they're admiring the Grand Canyon, their sour-smelling son Bad Dog in residence, together with a corpse on their toilet. Bad Dog tells a wild story: He doesn't know anything about the dead man, and he needs to borrow $1,000 from them and thumb a ride to Pittsburgh (they're headed to Texas) in order to start a job as apprentice trainer to the LA Raiders. The truth, as they learn when suspended Raiders end Dozer Meadows turns up on Bad Dog's tail, is even wilder. And still other intruders -- from the FBI to a pair of phony reporters -- are looking to crash Joe and Dottie's mobile-home Eden. How do all these zanies fit together? Not very closely at all, but if you're looking for a motive for Geoffry Bettis's murder, keep an eye on the precious contents of his safe-deposit box: three photos of a man checking his mail, and an outline drawing of a three-toed foot. Through it all, the Loudermilks remain ineffably daffy and foolish, like long-lost African-American relatives of Stanley Hastings. Geez Looweez.

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1994
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Putnam