ATTEMPTED CHEMISTRY by Jeff Gomez

ATTEMPTED CHEMISTRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The sweet rhythms of Gomez’s earlier, slacker work (Geniuses of Crack, 1997, etc.) echo here, in a ramble through the glades of Manhattan, where yuppies graze and gather to mate, breed, and try not to get culled from the herd.

Daniel has come from the West Coast in hopes of writing his first novel, met and moved in with Eileen, who works at an ad agency with Elisabeth, who gets fired for being frisky with her boyfriend in the office after hours, and with Mike, who’s so new that no one knows him but who left Iowa after ending a college relationship that still obsesses him. Daniel and Eileen are friends with Katherine and Cary, who is a drunk and an artist forced to paint walls, such as those of Josh and Kendra, a married couple bitterly divided over the issue of having a child, unlike their newlywed friends Steph and Ben, who works at another agency at which he’s befriended the receptionist Rick, who’s a journalism school dropout who develops an overpowering crush on a woman in Ben’s wedding pictures, who turns out to be Kendra. Eileen’s co-worker Adam takes up with another co-worker, Cressandra, who drops him to start a fling with Josh, while Eileen is pursued by office pal Anthony, who gets a chance when Daniel is sidetracked by an offer for his manuscript. Mike, meanwhile, takes up with Elisabeth’s replacement, Leslie, a dead ringer for the girl he left in Iowa, while Elisabeth has turned temp, taking over for Rick during his vacation, while continuing her affair with Keith, the frisky one who got her fired and who is involved with beautiful Brie, who’s also just gotten a deal for her first novel. Oh, and everybody smokes.

Once a single entity emerges from this smooth concoction, it takes on a quiet life of its own, artfully embodying everything from the dissolute to the profound—with a clear preference for the former.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-57962-075-2
Page count: 301pp
Publisher: Permanent Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002




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