KLEINZEIT by Russell Hoban


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A light little novel in the '60's boom style that established paranoid schizophrenia as the writer's Disneyland and a pleasantly sharable social ground. This is generically perfect point by point: Kleinzeit, a sacked London ad writer, also newly divorced and stricken with pain in the hypotenuse, is drawn to Hospital (which coos telepathically through his dreams) and there takes up with Sister, his two-ply whore/madonna night nurse who talks detachedly with God. He also, by mysterious means, gets involved with a hippy/derelict who haunts the Underground (which also talks to Kleinzeit) scattering blank sheets of yellow paper. . . . This yellow paper is to Kleinzeit what WASTE was to whomever it was in Lot 49; Kleinzeit's wardmates, with names like Flashpoint, have had equally unique and peculiar experiences that all have fallen in the way of doom, and whatever is now going on (involving Kleinzeit who is now busking with a glockenspiel in the tubes, sister, and the Dirty Chimpanzee Death) has precedents as far back as Orpheus. Most aspects of this point to other precedents of the last decade, and the driftiness and damned inherent sweetness seem to be vaguely parodying them all. Hard to tell.
Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1974
ISBN: 0747556415
Page count: 196pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1974


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