PECULIAR POLITICS by Katia Spiegelman


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 A racy and sometimes witty romp through New York's yuppieland, a nasty urban jungle where making connections both sexual and professional is the only way to go. Deliberately imitating 18th-century comedies of manners--with connections between characters multiplying into a confused tangle of deceits, dalliances, and desires that don't get unraveled until the last page--Spiegelman tells of two couples, Dawn and Hank, and Kath and Jack. The couples' happiness is thwarted and deferred by a slew of colorful characters, including Chris, the designing woman with the heart of a cash register; Mike, a sentimental transvestite; Marco, an office temp who's ashamed of the source of his real income; and Andy, a fitness-freak who gets around a surprising amount. Dawn, an editor, has been abandoned by Hank, who was seduced by Chris, but Hank, finding Chris increasingly tiresome, wants to get back with Dawn. And he does--briefly--but Dawn is editing a book by Mike, who owns a notorious transvestite escort service, that could make her publishing career; and Hank is representing Mike in a case that could make his legal career. With more than the usual conflict of interest involved, the two--Dawn and Hank--quarrel and part. Meanwhile, Kath, Dawn's friend, has been so busy writing her thesis that she's had no time for relationships, but this changes when she meets handsome Jack, a scenery builder who loves her but can't commit. Over a year, the couples, who always remember to use condoms because safe sex seems about the only thing to believe in, drift into other relationships. But true love is vindicated when predictably serendipitous coincidences get Dawn and Hank--and Kath and Jack--back together again at last. A neat idea that almost works, but Spiegelman's prose is too clunky for a genre so dependent on flights of verbal virtuosity. More flat than fizzy.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-7145-2952-4
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Marion Boyars
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993