SPLIT-LEVELS by Thomas Rayfiel


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 Recalled to his suburban hometown long years after moving to the city, Allen Stanley has neither time nor inclination to mourn the father who slit his wrists in the bathtub. Everybody in town seems to be coming on to him, from David Stanley's companionable next-door neighbor to a sexually precocious library aide to a transvestite funeral director. Word leaks out that Stanley päre was a pedophile who may have molested his missing daughter, Melissa. And an anonymous informant tells the police that Allen was back at the local lovers' lane a week before he said he was--just about the time David Stanley died. The hothouse atmosphere gets steamier as Allen's sexual memories erupt into the present, the aspiring partners preying on him begin to dissolve into each other, and he wonders whether he's slipping into a reenactment of the old man's life. Screenwriter Rayfiel's terse, slick, overheated first novel is heavy on portentous details and a grotesquely revisionist attitude toward the suburbs. All that's missing is David Lynch and John Hawkes sharing a soda at the malt shop.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-671-86522-6
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1994


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