SHOOT THE PIPER by Richard Hill


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Having succeeded in bilking an interested publisher out of a $500,000 advance while still holding on to the manuscript of his long-awaited second novel, '60s survivor Jock MacLeod, the Pied Piper of the Apocalypse, takes off on a self-guided literary tour of Britain. His old buddy, PI Randall Gatsby Sierra, dispatched to look for him before he runs into too much trouble, follows his trail to Canterbury, York, West Lulworth (home of ""Dover Beach"" and fetching barmaid Emma Poole), Bath (where two men, a Scot and a Pict who've been following MacLeod, nearly kill Gat), Stratford-upon-Avon (where Gat hears about MacLeod's extemporized Rappin' Romeo), Oxford (where Gat reads a note from MacLeod theorizing that the mind-altering datura plant actually consumes plutonium), and Workington (just upwind from the Sellafield nuclear plant), before a shaggy-dog finale at Stonehenge. Hill's own stint at Oxford seems to have inspired this British remake of Gat's American odyssey What Rough Beast? (1992), but without that book's bracing sense of growling evil. This jokey picture-postcard tour is too busy wallowing in the counterculture to do anything with it.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1994
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: St. Martin's