THE DANDY by Peter Gethers


Email this review


Though it's not written in the first person, this is one of those first novels that read suspiciously like autobiographical self-indulgences and/or wish-fulfillments. Hero Eugene, sometimes called ""our man"" or ""our boy,"" grows up in N.Y. and L.A. in the Fifties and Sixties, the motherless son of a TV writerturned-exec-turned-loser. Early on, Eugene ""found out he was witty and charming."" And ""on the dance floor he was dynamite."" And soon of course he's ""a devastating lover"" because ""it wasn't just semen that came pouring out of our man, it was hatred and love and passion. . . ."" Berkeley. Drugs. Hippiedom. A trip to Europe (""laid in every country except Sweden""). So, when Eugene inherits $250,000 from Uncle Roger, he's naturally ""tired of people, tired of pressure, tired of life,"" and heads meditatively for a small town in France. While there, he meets wildly romantic Lenny, so he wonders ""about love and what it was and whether it was real,"" he falls for pure Nicole but sleeps with her sleazy sister, and he kills suicidal Lenny in a duel. Back in N.Y., he attends a friend's wedding, sees the now-untouchable Nicole (she's married), and says to his latest bedmate: ""Life. . . It's a funny thing."" Didn't that line--and this whole pop-Camus, pseudo-Antonioni alienation shtick--go out of style a decade ago? ""Eugene was bored."" Likewise, Eugene. Likewise.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1978
Publisher: Dutton