If two aging hippies can stubbornly hang on to the '60s for 30 years, then hanging on to life after dying isn't much of a stretch. Sponsored by rival deities, Tex (Bear) and Molly (Raven) become players--or prompters--in an improvisational drama of survival whose improbable cast is vast and largely unwitting. Grant's multimythic storytelling lends glamour to scruffy coastal Dublin, Maine; he's a relentless observer, but an affectionate reporter, of the foibles and faults of the authentically miscellaneous residents and visitors. His major themes and leitmotifs are here, but the novel overall is less abstract and more playful than some of Grant's previous work.
From Publishers Weekly
The title doesn't quite paint the whole picture, but it does point a hitchhiker's thumb in the right direction: Grant's novel combines the literate but gonzo artistry of Tom Robbins with the obsessive spirituality of dedicated New Agers. In Dublin, Maine, aging hippies Molly and Tex fall down a well and die, and therein begins their adventure. In life, they were members of a theater company whose productions were geared towards raising environmental consciousness. In death, they take on the Gulf Atlantic Corporation, whose manmade trees are intended for reforestation of the Great North Woods. Those they encounter during this quirky saga include a homeless dryad (or tree spirit), elfin children, gun-toting separatists, nefarious corporate types and shape-changers. Frequent allusions to A Midsummer Night's Dream suggest Grant's intentions here, but the book's whimsical format (diagrams illustrate such topics as "the angle of divergence between successive leaf buds" and fortune cookie aphorisms called Afterlife Factoids appear at intervals) sometimes leans too far into eccentricity. Some good points are scored in this polemic novel whose message is that humans could benefit from nature's wisdom. Much of the writing is witty, and one wishes that more had been made of the particularly funny Neman and Arth Vawr, the "deities" that Tex and Molly meet right after their demise. The purposely open-ended plot will prove too frustrating for many literal-minded readers, but perhaps not for Grant's (Through the Heart) target audience?those who can take a thesis with a joke?and a grain of salt.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.