POORBOY AT THE PARTY by Robert Gover

POORBOY AT THE PARTY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is an acidulous commentary on an aspect of post-adolescent mores delivered in the gutter enriched prose of Randy, the ""poorboy at the party."" He describes an event as common as yesterday's headlines -- the unsupervised house party that ends in an orgy of destruction. This is an annual saturnalia that began during Arnie's boarding school days. Arnie is the rich college boy dilettante in decadence who intrudes Randy into the closed group and Randy's first complaint is that all they do is talk about sex while only he is ready to do anything about it. He has pretensions to social and psychological insight as he recalls the course of the party which changed him from a have not on the make to a poolside philosopher/beachboy. Gover's achievement with this narrator is capturing a close image of a savage lowerclass reaction to upperclass privilege and solidarity made up of jealousy and contempt. Arnie choreographs a slow starting, speed gathering symbolic gang rape that has become an annual tribal rite, but this year it cascades into the destruction of the ostentatiously arty beach house and some maniacal sexual experiments. The acts are bestial and four letter words are used liberally to describe them. The publishers with a publisher's enthusiasm, call this Gover's best so far, but it hasn't got the total comic vision of The Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding or Here Goes Kitten and not one character to like. Nevertheless, it is incisive social criticism by a young novelist of great talent, not that that will persuade the censorious.

Publisher: Trident