SHOOTING ELVIS by Robert Eversz


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Nice Mary Alice Baker gets involved with all sorts of nasty terrorists in this Saturday-matinee serial for the '90s. One day, Mary Alice is a normal California girl--abusive father, dead-end job snapping photos of tiny tots at Hansel and Gretel, shiftless boyfriend named Wrex with the same Doc Martens, leather jacket, and tattoos as everybody else's boyfriend. Then Wrex asks her to run an errand at the Los Angeles Airport--to swap a package he's got for another that's coming in at noon. Mary Alice has the requisite misgivings, but Wrex will go as high as $200 for the favor, and ""the more I drank, the safer the whole idea sounded."" So Mary Alice agrees to make the swap, except a few things go wrong, and bang! the package blows up while she's still in LAX, sending her into hiding from (1) the local (and not-so-local) authorities; (2) Mike Fleischer, the mysterious buyer who never liked amateur couriers to start with and is sure this one has double-crossed him; (3) Frick and Frack, Fleischer's bullyboys, whose good terrorist/bad terrorist routine reminds Mary Alice of nobody so much as her father; and, for all she knows, (4) from the rotten apple among the bevy of exciting new friends she's met since transforming herself into pop-art photographer Nina Zero. There's demented filmmaker Cass, her randy painter friend Billy b, colorful Santa Monica gallery owner Bobby Easter, and a pair of private eyes named Ben and Jerry. All this sounds a lot more fun than it is, because the cheerfully crazy characters Mary Alice--sorry: Nina--meets aren't all that different from one another, the terrorist plot is familiar and featherweight, and Mary Alice's self-styled ""Confession of an Accidental Terrorist"" lacks a style as flagrantly goofy as the events it retails, probably because even as Nina Zero, Mary Alice remains invincibly nice. Eversz (False Profit, 1990, etc.) whips up a candy-colored terrorist parfait in which the copious blood might as well be strawberry sauce.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0802135013
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Grove