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A debut novel—half comedy, half treatise on ’60s fallen dreams—that offers amusing insights but ultimately fails to persuade. Rod Huxley, onetime celebrated author, in 1972, of the political manifesto Cookbook for Revolution: 150 Ways to Boil, Broil, and Fry the Rich, has sunk into obscurity. Thanks to a $400 thousand contribution (by a nutty, albeit wealthy, fellow revolutionary), Huxley can afford to live a comfortable life of anonymity and lethargy in Denver with his two cats. That is, until the FBI contacts him with the news that a terrorist is holding hostages in a D.C. Burger King—and that only the appearance of Huxley will appease the bomber. Convinced that the terrorist is none other than his long-ago benefactor grown tired with waiting for the Huxley-inspired revolution, he agrees to travel to Washington but wearies of the FBI agent’s idiocy (as does the reader) and soon ditches him, trying to make his own, blundering way to the capitol. During the course of the journey, and sporadically throughout the story, Huxley reminisces about his renegade youth, the ultimate futility of his endeavors, and the possibility of regaining lost ideals. When he finally gets inside the Burger King, he finds that his old college flame and comrade-in-arms Sara is holding the tourists hostage, orchestrating everything in order to get Huxley back in the spotlight and writing again—he needs saving, she needs saving, the whole world needs saving. And convincing him to wake up and get to work again is (she thinks) the only solution. The two miraculously escape the feds, police, and helicopters circling overhead. Sara then takes Huxley to her apartment . . . . LaMarr’s contrasting styles of silliness and seriousness is effective, but the novel still misses the mark—and neither mode is fully realized.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-87081-501-6
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Univ. Press of Colorado
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1998


NonfictionLENIN by Victor Sebestyen
by Victor Sebestyen