BAD EYE BLUES by Neal Barrett


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 Vinnie (``Spuds'') DeMarco is a great admirer of Wiley Moss. He loves Wiley's pictures of insects for National Geographic and the Smithsonian, and he wants Wiley to paint some pictures of his Spudettes--the working girls who decorate his spread in wildest Idaho. And just in case Wiley has any reservations about taking the job, Spuds has two of his best boys, Bobby Bad Eye (who's a Nez Perce Indian) and Rocco (who's not), snatch Wiley out from a dinner date with a young lady who only wants meaningless sex and hustle him out to Idaho. Don't cry for Wiley's ruined date; after all, thanks to Spuds, he's surrounded by comely, willing, highly professional Spudettes (Daisy, Laurel, Columbine, Phlox, Zinnia, Iris, Aster, Orchid, Poppy, etc.) eager to sit for their paintings, and so on. But before Wiley has more than wet his bristles, gunfire takes out Spuds's ranch hand Nix--who's a really bad cook, but not that bad--and suddenly it's open season on Spuds and the Spudettes as Wiley finds himself in the middle of a gang war mixing Spuds up with his sister Angela, his brother Angelo, and his mob boss Galiano. Endless car chases, forest fires, and gunplay kill most of the cast, though many will rise from the grave--and even all this sound and fury, like that of Barrett's first two novels (Skinny Annie Blues, 1996, etc.), is utterly weightless, because Barrett doesn't care about it any more than you do.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 1-57566-173-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1997


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