Penzler Pick, January 2001:
Here Eric Bogosian, a playwright and actor, takes his keen eye to that particularly American venue, the mall. On any given day, the mall attracts hundreds of thousands of diverse characters who are not always there to shop. On this particular night, Bogosian concentrates on five of those characters, suburbanites who interact with each other in ways that are, for the most part, destructive.
Michel is an Haitian immigrant who works as a security guard at the mall. He's been there all evening and he spends his time thinking about his wife who died tragically. He misses her, but he will be forced to put all thoughts of her away as he becomes the first to deal with the horrendous events that start to unfold around closing time.
Jeff is a teenager who hooks up with his friends and drops acid. He wonders if Adelle likes him. She seems to, but she also seems to like his friend Beckett. Jeff's trip will get more surreal as the night progresses and will take him places he's never been before.
Donna is married with a son, but it doesn't seem to be enough. She is at the mall looking for romance and a little adventure. She'll find both.
Danny is a young businessman whose fetish for young women modeling underwear takes him to the women's dressing room at J.C. Penney. There he will find his own private nightmare.
And affecting them all is Mal. Mal is a speed freak who, before setting off for the mall with a car full of weapons, murders his mother and sets fire to his house. He is looking forward to an evening of more murder and mayhem.
This story moves along at the speed of an express train, one that isn't going quite where you thought it was. Bogosian has created a night that will not be easy to forget. --Otto Penzler
From Publishers Weekly
A faithful exegete of suburban nihilism, playwright and solo performer Bogosian delivers for his first novel a surreal "day in the life" tale that explores two of his trademark themes: suburban life and the illusory nature of "normalcy." Mal is a 30-something speed freak living with his mother in a drugged out fog, unwashed and virtually unconscious. After 90 days on crystal meth, Mal kills his mom, then goes on a rampage at the nearby mall. Bogosian uses this event to introduce a cross-section of mall life. Jeffrey, a dreadlocked teen, fantasizes about being a writer. He's got a crush on Adelle, whose narcissistic ennui he attributes to "a kind of efficiency. She's full of life but she's saving herself for the right moment...." His friend Berkeley has scored some retro windowpane acid, and so Jeff experiences Mal's fiery incursion in a hallucinatory state. Businessman Danny is a hapless, though hardly innocent, shopper at the mall, who spots Donna, an exhibitionist, sex-starved housewife performing a kinky striptease in a half-open dressing room. The police catch Danny peeping and arrest him, but then Mal, now shooting indiscriminately in the mall, pegs the cops, and Danny is left to wander around in handcuffs, which is how he runs into Adelle, who takes Danny on a sexy ride he may never recover from. While Bogosian's teen characters seem a little bit like rejects from a To Die For casting call, his droll remarks and dramatic pacing make this debut novel a typically Bogosian experienceDlively and unique. If this absurdist La Ronde sometimes goes over the edge, Bogosian's stature in contemporary pop culture, and his proven ability to work (and self-publicize) in numerous media, should give his novel legs. Agents, Claudia Cross, George Lane.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.