THE JUROR by Harvey Jacobs


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Leon Drew is a 39-year-old Manhattan ad-man currently occupied with finding the ad-campaign ""handle"" on a proPOsed mausoleum skyscraper to be built on Riverside Drive. But Leon's attention is divided these days, because he's also the foreman of a civil court jury judging the merits of a case involving a taxi that got sandwiched between two city buses. Married, a father, successful, Leon nevertheless finds that jury duty brings out a strange streak of lawlessness in him; during lunchbreaks, he successively mugs a coffee-wagon man, robs a stamp-and-coin shop, robs a minister, torches a nostalgia shop, and has dalliances with all the female jurors. True, Jacobs (The Egg of the Glak, Summer on a Mountain of Spices) sometimes can turn these episodes into urbane, faintly cruel comedy reminiscent of Stanley Elkin's: pleasing nastiness. But the two very separate chunks of material here--Leon's outlaw superego; the sprightly (if pointless) account of the days of a juror--never come together in any satisfying way. Nice moments, then, but essentially aimless.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Watts