BONGWATER by Michael Hornburg


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 A hip first novel about the lives and times of a group of slackers in search of love--if not meaning--in, alternately, Portland's grunge scene and New York's City's East Village. David, a young Portland filmmaker, small-time pot-dealer, and generally likable if troubled guy, has a thing for Jennifer, a vacuous beauty who has her own thing for Robert, who is likewise gorgeous and happens to have a thing for Tony. When David's crazy roommate, Courtney, who has a thing for David, accidentally burns down their apartment, David moves in with Robert and Tony, and Courtney splits for New York. Meanwhile, bored with the local scene, Jennifer decides to check out the Big Apple herself for a weekend and hooks up with Courtney in the East Village for an evening of adventure at a rave in Williamsburg, then back across the river to a hotel in Times Square. In Jennifer's absence, David connects with a sweet but wild young stripper named Mary, brings her to meet his grower/hermit friend Phil, and together the three find bliss in the woods. Courtney, burnt out by her New York experience, comes back to Portland and watches painfully while Jennifer tries to seduce David away from his interest in Mary, who opens a club of her own with fellow stripper Spider--opening night is such a scene that the place gets busted. Amid all the chaos David discovers that his soulmate is neither Jennifer nor Mary, but Courtney--who has been devoted to him all along. Despite all the relationship jockeying, David's smart, vulnerable narration draws readers in, and the ease and skill of the storytelling complete the seduction.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-8021-1510-1
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Grove
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1995