THE ASSIGNMENT by Martin Myers


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A novel. . . a novel novel. . . an inverted practical joke. . . or all, anyway too much, about Spiegel, the junkman, and his Assignments, most recently as magpie-curator for a Junk Foundation started by a fetishist-philanthropist. The crumpled characters here have uncomfortable social and sexual difficulties and among them are Michelangelo Culpa, Mousey Sugarman Zeeskeit, and Harry Betnwar, a black (as Victor Hugo said, ""Puns are the droppings of the mind as it flies"" and Mr. Myers' is frequently on the wing). The action, silenced in talk, concerns Spiegel's find -- a baby -- which he does not turn over to the Foundation thus incurring a lawsuit and his collapse in the middle of it. He is then sent to a Reality Resumption Institute and is he a philosophy professor? None of it is really much more than pseudo-identikitsch about the ""existency of Spiegel, the junkman. Why is he here? What is he doing? Does it matter? To whom?"" This may well be the hardest question to answer.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1970
Publisher: Harper & Row