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Gordon's debut aspires to the cinematic funkiness of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch--there's lots of freaky behavior punctuated by sudden outbursts of extreme and casual violence. But the dark humor of this wildly implausible crime novel often veers into plain meanness and immorality. The global struggle between Zion and Islam plays out here in the neighborhoods of London when a young Jewish boy is found dead from torture in an Arab-owned meatlocker. Fifteen-year-old David Dexter wasn't some anonymous kid, but the son and heir of a prominent property owner, an unscrupulous capitalist and dedicated Zionist who employs a group of strange dwarves, most of whom also work in the sex trades, to do all his dirty work. Rabin and Jerry, a couple of gay novelty hustlers, seduce Arab men in order to glean facts. Meanwhile, Isaac, boss among small people, strong-arms his way through the streets, trying to track down David's killers. Unbeknownst to them, the deed was done by two London-born Arab freelancers, Mo and Tayeb, one a committed terrorist, the other a naive kid. So far, these two have also blown up a Christian evangelist bus that proselytizes through Arab neighborhoods and burnt down a center for Hebraic Studies. At his wit's end, Dexter orders the kidnapping of the daughter of his own Arab counterpart, Azziz, an equally sleazy operator (and anti-Semite). Impressed by the bloodthirst of young Mo, Azziz enlists him in a complicated bit of vengeance. By end, all the dwarves wind up brutally murdered, while a pair of young lovers seem to triumph. The deliberate kink and weirdness here are all atmospheric and have little relevance to the admittedly bizarre plot. Perhaps a thoughtful director could add the coherence missing from this otherwise trendy debut.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1995
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Mask Noir/Serpent's Tail