FUGITIVE MOON

Faust's novels were well-received in the 1970s, but he couldn't find a publisher in the '80s. Now he delivers his third novel in two years (When She Was Bad, 1994, etc.)—a murder story on which he hangs a broad satire of the contemporary US. Ted Moon is a pitcher for a New York team more or less like the hapless Mets of several years ago. He's talented but has a history of violent behavior, alcoholic blackouts, and long, insane recovery periods at a remote hospital in New Mexico. Unlike Faust's In the Forest of the Night (1993), a meticulously plotted tale set in Central America, Faust's latest has almost no story. Moon is accused of murdering four transsexuals, and to escape arrest he takes off cross-country on a manic binge, finally establishing his innocence—of murder, at least—and rejoining his team in Los Angeles. The reader never really thinks Moon committed the murders. Faust's baseball episodes, the few that there are, are nicely rendered, no doubt because Faust was a professional ballplayer himself. But his interest is in Moon's wild, often hilarious send- ups of sexuality (a sports psychologist who counsels baseball players to plumb their feminine sides and not to be afraid of touching one another), feminism, tabloid journalism (which feeds the public appetite for salaciousness by treating intimate sexual subjects in a ``scientific'' manner), and every species of political correctness—which he gives us while watching TV, ``the black hole,'' in motel after motel. The novel is sharp, sometimes reactionary satire rather like Kingsley Amis at his most vicious, delivered in a circular, mocking, high-flying harangue. Incensed by one of his ex-wives' sensible refusal to let him visit his children, he says, ``It was not the lack of justice that I minded; it was the lack of shame for the lack of justice.'' Faust could be criticized for his indifferent plotting, but Ted Moon's outrageous manic tirade is strong medicine: hits hard, but has a tonic effect.

Pub Date: April 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-312-85398-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Forge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1995

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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