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A cloying, didactic story of a rock star turned nuclear activist--a disappointing second outing for Borsten (The Great Equalizer, 1986). Rainbow Walker is an immensely successful black rock-and-roller--a ""platinum superstar""--who nearly dies performing onstage acrobatics (he trips and smashes his larynx trying to leap over a drum set) and who heads to his grandparents' orange grove in South Florida to recuperate. While he's there, a serious nuclear alert takes place, and for a while it looks as if the earth may be destroyed. When things cool down, Rainbow heats up--he gives a massively successful concert in Portland to raise money for prime-time commercials against nuclear war (""Gonna be putting the heat on our leaders, Jack! Gonna be putting a fire to their toes""). He then joins a group of activists who are protesting the passage of a train carrying nuclear warheads to a naval base in Puget Sound. Unfortunately, the train accidentally runs over Rainbow, cutting off his legs at the knees--but he's still able to fight the war against nukes, and marry the woman he loves. Borsten writes effectively about the death of Rainbow's beloved grandmother from cancer--but for the most part, this mixture of weak fantasy, sentimentality, and antinuke preaching never grabs.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1989
Publisher: Breitenbush--dist. by Taylor