SIRENS AND GRACES by Lawrence Garber


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Leland Garland, a 1960s Canadian grad student, also goes by the names Lyle Gerringer and Lorne Granger: he puts tags on himself like hats as he goes from one European way-station to another, installed there thanks to the generoisity of numerous grants from Canadian trusts oriented towards poor scholars. But, though Leland's research thesis may be on erotic literature, he spends far more time on real-life erotic adventures. In Paris, he beds Simmie, who does Jewish-mother imitations; there's Amsterdam with hustling Lorna, Venice with suicidal Bully; in Bologna he meets up with virgin Emanuela, who introduces Leland (now known as Lets) to virtue-saving anal sex and a sudden need for penicillin. And finally, ten years later, Leland is now a Toronto college professor, married to baby-wanting Mettle, living in a model apartment. . . and aching for the carnal snows of yesteryear. Gerber writes with dogged zest of his hero's sexual serendipity: the laughs are quick, disposable, often cheap and not above cliche (""By this time, I was soaked to the skin. When it rains in Amsterdam, they build arks""). But, with no real development for this presumably autobiographical Casanova-character, these are ultimately thin short stories without interconnecting hooks; and, if occasionally amusing, Garber's variation on the standard string-of-bedmates novel is far too predictable--and flashily empty--in its city-by-city hijinks.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1983
Publisher: Beaufort