ELSINORE by Jerome Charyn


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 Free-wheeling retired Aladdin Furs executive Sidney Holden, who wears the Duke of Windsor's second hand clothes, goes back into action when his live-in Fay's Svengali, Queens D.A. Paul Abruzzi, hauls her off, throwing Holden into the clutches of mogul Howard Phipps, who promises to reveal Fay's whereabouts (an asylum called Elsinore-- though the news doesn't help) in return for Holden's help in inducing his long-gone old flame Judith Church, now 67, to come back to him-- acting along the way as a gofer for Phipps's far-flung (Chappaquidick, the Basque territory) money-laundering operations. As usual in Charyn's gay, mad fantasies (The Good Policeman, Secret Isaac, etc.), everybody in the cast, from hundred-year-old Ethan Coleridge/Cardinale to wayward cantor Hirschele Feldstein to Phipps Foundation lawyer Gloria Vanderwelle to Abruzzi to Holden's late father, turns out to be sporting multiple identities implicating them in decades-old crimes-- mainly, this time, the 1927 strangling of heiress Frieda Kronstadt by, as it turns out, nonexistent Marcus Reims. (Don't ask.) Read, if you must, for Charyn's endless flow of invention. Trying to disentangle the filaments of his absurd, inconsequential plot could drive you crazy, which would be about right.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1991
ISBN: 0-89296-361-1
Page count: 208pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1991


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