Winner of New York University's Bobst Emerging Writers Award, this tedious first novel blends various genres: surreal satire, detective fiction, road trip and Barthelme-like fantasy, spiked with movie lore and literary allusions. The result is a hollow if technically proficient postmodernist exercise. Bud Salem, the 18-year-old narrator, flees California and his mother, a flaky televangelist. Hitchhiking in the Mojave Desert in 1975, he teams up with Sylvia Cushman, a "literate housewife" who perceives secret geometric patterns in Emily Dickinson's verse. Bud makes a pilgrimage to Dickinson's house in Amherst, Mass., and then goes on to Detroit, where he meets Sylvia's husband, Joshua, an auto engineer who tests cars for safety by having dogs drive the vehicles in bloody, fatal accidents. A wealthy Iranian debutante hiding from death squads, photographs of dogs' souls taken by Bud's father (an ex-stuntman in Tarzan films) and a shootout with a lunatic cowboy in Brooklyn's Coney Island aquarium are elements of a plot that careens from New York to New Orleans to Texas. Fans of old movies and hardboiled whodunits of the '30s may enjoy the recurring references.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"You'd think nothing would live up to this title, but the book, being more generous as well as witty, more than tops it...incandescent.”-The New Yorker See all Editorial Reviews
Good read. I read it a few years ago and decided I wanted go get it. When I read it this time it was a little darker than I remembered but still worth reading again!Published 17 months ago by no pen name....
David Bowman has no talent, his books are dull. Why publisher's haven't figured this out is beyond me. At least book lovers realize this as his sales continue to go downward.Published on August 22, 2011 by empty pockets
Funny, zany but not more than that.
An easy read, entertaining and sometime get's tedious trying be "crazy".
Well, I didn't hate it... (always a bad sign when that's the first positive thing you can come up with for a review). Read morePublished on June 24, 2004
THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF AN INEPT WRITER TRYING TO IMPRESS THE WORLD WITH ALL THE KNOWLEDGE HE AMASSED WHILE PARKED IN FRONT OF A TV SET HIS ENTIRE CHILDHOOD. Read morePublished on June 15, 1999 by Barbara A. Barnes
This is one of the most arresting works of fiction I've ever read; when I finished the book, I immediately turned it over and began to re-read it. Read morePublished on May 24, 1999
let the dog drive is the love child of jack kerouac's desolation angels, kurt vonnegut's hocus pocus and tom wolfe's electric kool-aid acid test. Read morePublished on November 26, 1998