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An impressionistic, self-dissolving, and often unbearably jejune first novel. Comprising the murky triangle here are: a young woman from Kansas named Lauren; her bicycle-racer husband Jason; and her lover Michel Sarre, who manages a Los Angeles club aptly named The Blue Isosceles--but whose main energies go into his Paris attempts to recover the lost cinema masterpiece of his grandfather Adolphe Saar (clearly based on Abel Gance and his Napoleon of the Twenties). Michel, however, also suffers from amnesia--a malady that serves as a sort of general anesthetic over the shreds of plot: Lauren briefly flees the turmoil of an admitted infidelity by Jason; her baby dies of crib death; she flees once more, to Paris, where she again meets up with Michel--and where she's also pursued by amends-making Jason. But all this movement seems to be little more than an excuse for Erickson to unroll swatches of his gauzy prose: ""Neither of them should have known these things except that now there was nothing left to survey, or touch, or hear outside, nothing to feel but the things that neither could know of the other; and therefore they felt everything. Not the details or the definitive traumas but the resulting carnage by which each had been ravaged."" And Erickson's attempts at adapting cinematic conventions--fades and cuts--to fiction are equally entangling and ineffectual. (A scene in which Michel makes love to Lauren, who's buried under sand inside an office when a sandstorm in Los Angeles suddenly blows up, is unintentionally hilarious.) An unimpressive debut.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1985
ISBN: 0743265696
Publisher: Poseidon/Pocket Books--dist. by Simon & Schuster