URBAN BLISS by Janice Eidus


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 The author of Vito Loves Geraldine (1990) serves up her trademark: frothy fiction that plays off of up-to-the-minute cultural phenomena and the weird normalcy of New York City. Babette Bliss has taken the summer off from her job as associate director of an avant-garde theater. Her boss, Jay (the only other staff member), who is dating her sister Maya (a decorator specializing in pink interiors), wants Babette to come back and help him fight a construction company that wants to tear down the theater to build condominiums. Babette has other things on her mind, however--mainly her suspicion that husband George Harrison (who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Beatle of the same name) is sleeping with a lawyer at his firm. Babette's therapist, Shara-Rose--who moonlights as the singer in a rock band called Mild Neurosis--is trying to help her through all of this. The jokes here are generally funny, although occasionally Eidus drives them home a little too hard, as though she's afraid the reader won't get them without help. Plot points, on the other hand, are rarely carried through completely, nor does Babette ever go all the way in any sense. She moves out on George, stays in the apartment of a performance artist friend who is on tour, and toys with the idea of having an affair with a playwright who is also living there--and happens to have just broken up with Jay's ex- wife. (All is incestuous in this novel.) She considers leaving her job at the theater but feels threatened when a summer intern is hired. There is a resolution of sorts, but one that leaves most of Babette's decisions still up in the air. Very light entertainment, but likely to amuse the class it portrays.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1994
ISBN: 0-88064-159-2
Page count: 180pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1994