Sunday, January 1 1995
The human mind loves making connections, sometimes organizing unlike data into nicely formed packets of sanity, other times tying ribbons upon packages of mayhem. Our minds also seem to search for the convenient shortcut, the Northwest Passage, the 'easy way out'. More often than not these packets and shortcuts lead to dead-ends, or mine fields laden with an ordinance of insanity and confusion.
Bruni's description of Bush paints a fragmented character who 'struck different poses at different times': the average student with a quick temper, prone to too much drinking and partying, who years later summoned enough ambition to win the race for governor of Texas, and whose loyalties lay with his family, pets, his beloved Texas ranch, baseball, and a slew of devoted friends who painstakingly championed his cause.
[Raymond Federman's] techniques seem to bring into question the 'truth' of the story . . . as well as allowing a lengthy discussion throughout the novel about the act of writing itself.
The story offered here is not just a depiction of idealists trying to change the world, but a convincing portrait of government repression in the United States, one which should not only enlighten readers about our country's past but make them look closer at the present.
Aylett's imagination is about as creative as anyone's in the business, and his ideas are fresh and full of potential. If only he had developed his characters and his story beyond the level of a cartoon, and toned down the smug, smart-ass prose, this book could have gone somewhere.
Place 'Adios Muchachos' alongside the work of John D. MacDonald, Carl Hiassen, and a good deal of Elmore Leonard, and it'll fit right in with those masters of incongruously sunny, quirky capers.
Neil Gaiman has fashioned a new myth about modern Americans, a plot constructed of fragments of ancient tales woven into an original and vital drama... 'American Gods' is both complex enough to warrant serious critical analysis, yet with a stylistic simplicity and lightning-fast pace that will engross any reader.
The more new suburbanites and recreators understand the critters they share the world with, the better off all will be, humans and wild things alike. But armed with little more biology than what was required to get into medical school and Disney's disgusting diet of pabulum romanticism, educating the new suburbanite is an up hill battle.