Love and Death on Long Island

by Gilbert Adair

Book review

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The Gentrification of a Void (or The De'Ath of the Future)

Giles de'Ath, a pompous Pre-Post-Modern writer of tortuous, inadvertently Oulipian Fiction, Art History and Philosophy, unfamiliar with the layout of new-fangled multiplex cinemas, finds himself watching a teen-flick rather than the desired E.M. Forster costume drama.

A widower, he nevertheless falls in love with one of the male bit part actors, after which his life spirals from Cambridge to "Hotpants College III", from faux-European sophistication to Hollywood artlessness, from "Tod in Venedig" to "Ronnie Bostock in Long Island", via such byzantine linguistic and narrative connivances, contrivances, distractions and devices as "the indisputable nimbus of rarefaction", "the tyranny of the subject", "febrile eclecticism", "lumpen pleasure palaces", ephebes, asphodels, eglantines,fanzines, homoerotic porn, a trans-Atlantic flight, meeting Ronnie in person, a rival called Audrey, a short order cook named Irving and a daily diet of cheeseburgers, a true panoply of Post-Modernist temptations and delights.

Even so, apart from the real life (but regrettably now deceased) author, there's nothing and nobody you want to identify with, but you find yourself accompanying the characters on a witty, knowing and well-crafted roller-coaster ride in which audience and cast are intent on destroying each other. Funny, that.

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PublisherGrove Press
Release date 07.08.1998
Pages count144
File size2.6 Mb
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
Book rating4.38 (92 votes)