NAKED IN GARDEN HILLS by Harry Crews

NAKED IN GARDEN HILLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

You may remember the underground hymn of The Gospel Singer (1968, p. 1485). Mr. Crews again presents an existential freakshow that is delicately crafted and seems to be saying something. . . even if you're never quite sure what it is. He's kind of the Ingmar Bergman of the short novel presenting here Garden Hills, once site of the world's largest phosphate mine, abandoned now to twelve families and the ""Fat Man,"" whose father accidentally became a millionaire. ""Fat Man"" is a five foot, five hundred pounder when first met consuming crates of Metrecal and still shooting slowly outward. He's taken care of by four feet of perfection, one Jester who was destined to be a jockey but lost his race with fear. ""Fat-Man"" lives in his castle, benign custodian to the twelve families who are convinced that the phosphate king Jack O'Boylan is going to reactivate the mine so that they can resume their presumably interrupted life pattern. But Dolly, back from New York, knows that O'Boylan isn't coming back and she has plans for turning Garden Hills into the most far out tourist trap ever conjured up by a distorted mind. The plan includes Go Go cages and one particularly sturdy one with trays of steaming food. Mr. Crews has one of the wildest imaginations around. . . you won't be able to put him down.

Pub Date: April 7th, 1969
Publisher: Morrow