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First-novelist Weiner has done a cartoony, sporadically amusing West Coast update on one of the oldest fantasy premises: What happens when people get what they wish for? The wishers here are a half-dozen poker-playing chums who are visited by a pair of cutesy, outer-space cherubs; these little aliens (""the Boys""), as part of a homework project, give the six a taste of miraculous spacewater. So everyone gets his or her wish: blocked composer Oscar Hindeman starts composing great stuff; Frank Lincolnfalcoln, an Indian with a terminal disease, has a miracle-recovery and goes into politics; harelip-ped therapist Joan becomes gorgeous; miserable divorcÉ Rocky gets to go back into the past to regain his old love with ex-wife Sybil; greedy Don Juan ""Pasha"" Berger gets the power to predict horseraces and stockmarket prices; and Prof. Leopold Ludwig becomes a guru at last--as prophet for a supposed alien god named Eckarn, who (for a fee) is going to take Earthlings off to his mother planet. As usual with such fables, of course, none of the transformations really works out happily. Oscar's obsession with music and posterity alienates his wife. Gorgeous Joan's new eligibility for easy sex (""She winced at his smooth hot entry"") is sleazy--till she finds a True Love who promptly dies. Rocky's quest is futile; Berger loses his wife; politician Lincolnfalcon is shot by an assassin (the ""Boys"" save him) and then dies while playing football, with his fiancee Alice Fey picking up his campaign torch (she'll become president). And--in the book's only really absurdly diverting moments--Ludwig's jive-talking god Eckarn (""No unbelievah's vibes or the Veehickle may not materialahz at the raight spot"") is revealed as the phony he so obviously is. A mostly belabored mÉlange of satire, fairy-tale, and vague philosophy--but a few lines and scenes do show a quirky sense of dark, off-the-wall comedy.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1981
Publisher: Sonica Press (6255 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028)