SAVAGE LANE by Jason Starr


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Starr throws everything from scheming wives to child rape to crabs (and not the type one finds on a restaurant menu) into his latest effort.

Savage Lane is home to the beautiful Karen and her two children, Elana, 16, and 10-year-old Matthew. Their neighbors Mark Berman and his wife, Deb, along with their two children, Riley, age 16, and Justin, who’s 12, have an odd relationship with Karen and her family. While the children are good friends, Mark is close to Karen, who is a single parent. Mark spends his time either texting with her or dreaming about sex with her. They’re friends for now, but Mark fantasizes it will one day become more. As for Deb, she’s jealous of Mark’s relationship with Karen, but even though they argue nonstop about his fascination with another woman, Deb’s also cheating—with an 18-year-old high school student named Owen Harrison. She talks about ending it with Owen but keeps having assignations with the boy until things get out of hand and a murder occurs. When Karen is suspected, everything goes awry, and soon, the private lives of Savage Lane are made public. There’s no one point at which this novel goes downhill. The slide starts from the very first page, and readers—at least the ones who manage to stick with it to the end of the book—will find themselves wading through clumsy sex scenes and a thin, barely existent plot. The characters spend their time thinking about sex, talking about sex, texting one another about sex, and having sex, but the book’s not at all sensuous. With wooden dialogue, little atmosphere or sense of place, and absolutely nothing in the way of character development, Starr’s latest effort reads as if it were ripped from the imagination of a pubescent boy.

Clumsy prose and a dull plot that’s anything but erotic.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-940610-64-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Polis Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2015


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