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MOLE'S PITY by Harold Jaffe



Pub Date: May 31st, 1979
Publisher: Fiction Collective--dist. by. Braziller

This is the sort of vaguely political, semi-satiric, Manhattan-scruffy novel that used to be published more frequently about seven or eight years ago. Mole is 34, has studied with a guru in India, and works for a non-profit radio station--HELP--as an on-the-air collector of desperate phone calls; he's also planning to bump off the Republican presidential candidate, a Nelson Rockefeller-ish senator named Forrest Patrician Dix. The other characters are equally cartoon-y. Mole's girlfriend Marya, a painter, has but one subject: Orpheus and Eurydice. HIS friend Sklar is into high colonies. And Mole himself practices self-purifying yoga exercises on the roof of his lower East Side tenement. As Election Day approaches, he's taken the necessary steps: he buys a gun, goes to the practice range a lot, divests himself of his worldly possessions (mostly books)--and is studiously refracting into various crazy shards. Jaffe can set up a satirical scene brightly when he puts his mind to it (which isn't too often), and the book's mumbling messiness has some charm. But this is mostly mild, unfocused, and dated stuff--a far cry from what the Fiction Collective has, at its best, managed to produce in the past.