OUT OF BODY AND MIND by Veronica Jean


Email this review


 A mentally deranged young woman explains how she came to commit murder--in this very fey first novel from a small-press veteran. Sentenced to 15 years for the premeditated murder of her art teacher, Adam Sault, Eve White protests from her jail cell that Adam's death by poisoned apple was merely an ``inversion'' and her crime only an innocent ``art attack.'' Stating her case in coy prose (regularly punctuated with ``I beg you...'' and ``I implore you...''), Eve tells of her traumatic childhood ruled first by an abusive father and then by an affectless stepfather; her dead-end job as oven operator at a cookie factory; the grim line of ``tall, dark, bearded, horny, and stupid'' boyfriends that led to Adam Sault; her affection for her misfit older brother, a rock musician; and her fluctuating passion for Dr. Marvin, her psychiatrist and the only nonirritating voice here. Urged by Marvin to try working through her anxiety by attending an art class, Eve instantly falls for married-but-unfaithful teacher Adam and takes to sending him unsigned poems in the mail. Finally snagging his attention one night in a bar, Eve allows herself to be invited to his studio, where he seduces her but then freaks when she reveals her unattractive webbed feet. Summarily rejected, a mortified Eve retreats to commune with the voice of her imaginary friend, The Sandman, who provides her with a basket of apples and advises her to give Adam a particular one. After Adam bites into it and dies, Eve is convicted of his murder--in spite of her flippant New Age pronouncements and ceaseless puns--insisting to the end that we are all in prison, really, but that true art has no boundaries and in any case, as a last resort, out-of-body experiences really do exist. Eve, Adam, and the tempting red apple are only a few of the in-your-face conceits in this heavy-handed fantasy.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-877946-31-1
Page count: 172pp
Publisher: Permanent Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993