Email this review


The satire (of hip Colorado) that Huth had rolling off his fingertips in his debut, Unnatural Axe, is nowhere to be found in this second book; Huth instead has fallen into the slipstream of the faintly cynical, Tom Robbins/Rob Swigart/ Richard Brautigan, isn't-it-all-crazy novel (aimed at the aging American young). The man of the title is Bill, who transports cars for a living: he's a Driveaway Man hooked on the freedom and the zombie-rude of endless highway white-lines. His marriage has pancaked, as has his job as a travel agent with the White House; his father, after a stroke, is a vegetable in a Toledo, Ohio nursing home. But now, on a stop-off in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, Bill meets up with Shayla--who, it turns out, is on the lam from a Naropa-like Tibetan ashram that wants her back in the worst way. She takes her leave of Bill after a night of love; but he's got the feckless opportunities to track her, and he does. In Maine, in New York, in Utah--slam-bang meetings ensue. And while we're being carted around like this, Huth is providing us with magazine-article-sized vignettes of whoopie-at-an-ashram, anti-nuke rallies, video-dating concepts: all very trendy stuff. Moreover, the climax involves springing Bill's insensate Dad from the home in Toledo and using him as a weapon against the mean, Shayla-hounding Tibetans. Working hard at hipness but at nothing else in particular--a limp, constantly flagging effort.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1981
Publisher: Delta