BLOWN AWAY by Ronald Sukenick


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Experimental writer Sukenick (The Endless Short Story, 1986) surveys Tinseltown in this latest work, in which time-frames are juggled frantically, but all the niceties of punctuation, etc., are observed. There is even a plot of sorts: Hollywood fortune-teller and mind-reader Boris O. Ccrab has been cheated of some monies by director Rod Drachenstein, and uses sexkitten and instant starlet Clover Bottom, owner of the most fetching derriÉre in Shaky City, to retrieve them. But this ghost of a plot is summoned only to be abandoned, replaced by a kind of soup in which events float like croutons, lines and paragraphs recur, and tomorrow may happen before yesterday. Should anyone doubt Sukenick's hostility to plots, he has a scriptwriter called Plotz whom he kills off, variously and repeatedly; when it comes time for his burial, Plotz is plot-less. Nor does Character fare much better, as Ccrab dissolves into Drachenstein: ""Clover's rehabilitation consists of Drachenstein's habitation by a metamorphic spirit, an entity which, once embodied, will also serve to disseminate Ccrab's spirit after he will have disappeared from the scene."" Thus Character, and psychobabble, are jointly mocked. What all this amounts to, as Plotz and the others chew over Clover's next vehicle, Blown Away (a more tony sequel to the top-grossing My Little Pig), is a bunch of Hollywood types sitting around talking. Sukenick's aim, to throw off the constraints of plot and illuminate Hollywood in his own playful kaleidoscopic light, has not been met here; his material is so familiar and his language so unadventurous that he seems as trapped in his own routines as any more conventional writer.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1986
Publisher: Sun & Moon