THREE SQUIRT DOG by Rick Ridgway


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A tone-deaf first novel written in the author's inane approximation of youthful lingo, which all but succeeds in obscuring the book's lack of a definable plot. Bud is a 21-year-old college grad with few prospects and even fewer aspirations. Because his very hip young uncle Dewey has kept watch over Bud and his younger brother, Omar, since their father died (and their mother moved to a commune out West), Bud leads what many men his age might regard as a fantasy life. Bud, Omar, and Dewey live together in an open arrangement that would suit the most untameable teen. When he wants the money, Bud works in Dewey's record store, where a bad day consists of too many sales of Journey or Styx albums. The rest of the time, Bud is in a boozy haze with his moronic friends Tony and Zak, or he is having amazing sex with his beatific girlfriend Jane, the woman he has inexplicably managed to attract. The hedonistic tendencies of the characters might have worked if they didn't all manifest themselves in the same way -- no one voice in the novel is distinct enough, or realistic enough, nor are any of the characters' actions unique enough (save for the better-left-unsaid exploits of Omar in a Fourth of July competition) to ever come across as credible. Bud's devotion to his girlfriend is sweet, but it doesn't progress or lead to uncharted emotional territory. Without any belief in the characters, the novel fails as ""Generation X"" pop fiction. It ends -- for readers who even get that far -- without any character having grown or developed in any significant way.

Pub Date: June 27th, 1994
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: St. Martin's