A community theater's production of Special Yearnings triggers a string of underground nuclear explosions from St. Louis to Worcester, Massachusetts. A man frantically swats at the blaze that his girlfriend has ignited in his trousers, while her family tries to figure out whether his agonized sign language means "Under the Volcano" or "No Time for Sergeants." Charo, Marianne Faithfull, and Napoleon's sister swap glittering witticisms and pornographic come-ons with languid aesthetes and unhinged suburbanites.
Such scenarios are just par for the course in this gloriously disorienting volume by Mark Leyner, author of My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist and Et Tu, Babe, and a writer who plays the English language the way Jimi Hendrix played the guitar: at blinding speed, dangerous volume, and with a perfect mixture of lyricism and sheer menace.
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January 01, 1995
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