A CEREMONY IN THE LINCOLN TUNNEL by Richard Cunningham

A CEREMONY IN THE LINCOLN TUNNEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Artsiness and suspense don't mix--a general rule reaffirmed by this confusing, self-consciously jittery, but not untalented fiction debut. The basic plot is simple enough: a motley terrorist group called The Committee explodes and floods the Lincoln Tunnel in order to kill Moshe Dayan (here called only ""The General"" with ""the eyepatch""), who is on his way to negotiate a ""clandestine nuclear treaty"" between Israel and the U.S. Cunningham, however, presents this formula scenario through the must oblique of narratives--a time-fractured structure and a prose style giddy with parenthetical asides. Old-timer workmen discuss the Lincoln Tunnel; the terrorists feud with each other and talk technicalities; an Israeli interrogator quizzes the captured terrorist leader; a Congressional committee (Moynihan, Abzug, Javits) tries to ascertain exactly what happened in the tunnel disaster; Dayan writes his memoirs (on Golda Meir: ""As usual, looking like Lyndon Johnson in drag""). These odd puzzle pieces never come together in any coherent, satisfying shape: Cunningham's mosaic is so disordered that readers won't know how tongue-in-cheek it's meant to be or how to react to what appears to be a virulent anti-Israel message. Undeniably imaginative, with quirkily vivid bits of dialogue and detail--but no characters or ideas to justify all that suspense-killing jumpiness.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Sheed Andrews & McMeel