NOT A BAD MAN by John Miglis


Email this review


Bizarre naturalism and melodrama, with a plot that seems to defy interest but whose sex-bait will keep some reading. In North Florida a group of four men has a common obsession: eagles, eaglewatching, and telling eagle stories. But Paul, a lit teacher, has a housemate, LaVita, a former exotic dancer whose ""stage"" name was Bambi, and fellow cagier Danny, who is running for office and bedding LaVita on the side, uncovers her dirty secret. On an afternoon when the four men are to meet at a fishing camp, Danny takes Paul out waterskiing and accidentally kills him. With the election two days off, he strongarms third man Owen into helping him dump the body into a mining hole. As the title says, he's not a bad man, just a stupid creep. Owen then goes into hiding from Danny, who could easily and convincingly frame and finger him for Paul's death. The fourth man, who is 86, dies of a heart attack when Owen tells him what's happening. And sex re-blooms when Owen teams up with LaVita. During the final stalking, with Danny after them in the woods, vengeance arrives like the thunder of. . . yes, eagles' wings. Profuse scotch, pot, and pillpopping may account for some of the weirder lacunae in the text; what accounts for the imitation-Deliverance ambiance and occasionally awful writing is anybody's guess.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1977
Publisher: Morrow