The boozy and nearly endless adventures of a big, brilliant, self-consciously Rabelaisian lawyer defending an overcooked rock musician charged with murder fill this first novel from the co-author of the nonfiction The Sweeps (1984). Fans of things larger-than-life will find David ""Bear"" Belladaywic just their tub of tea. He's a big, handsome, Vietnam veteran, sire of bastards, lover of many women, onetime professional wrestler, member of Mensa, ace lawyer and a world-class drinker. But, for all of that, he's still a sensitive guy with a kind of wry-but-innocent outlook on this big crazy world. Or, at least, the big crazy world of Portland, Oregon, where he has grown up, the only son of powerful congressman and attorney ""Froggie"" Belladaywic. And it's a good thing that ""Bear"" is so much larger than life, because he's got a really big case to handle as he tries to get his client Joey Holtmann off death row. Joey, the brother of ""Bear's"" longtime girlfriend Cindy Holtzman and a human Bill-the-Cat, was convicted of murdering two drug-enforcement agents as they attempted to buy a ton or so of Master Smack, the new miracle mystery drug rumored to be capable of lobotomizing the entire population of the Pacific Northwest and maybe the whole US. And, Heavens-to-Ken Kesey, it looks to ""Bear"" like the governor and mayor and their new political party may actually have planned to use Master Smack and Joey Holtzman to do just that. What a blast! Overlong and overwrought. ""Bear"" Belladaywic can be prepossessing at rare moments, but most of the time he's the rowdy party guest who thinks it's okay to throw up in the punch bowl. It's not.