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The Fortuneteller

Mac Wellman

Price: U.S. $14.95
Mac Wellman
The Fortuneteller
Series No.: NAF 22
ISBN: 978-1557130334, Pages:
American Literature, Fiction

A Sun & Moon title.

* * *

This jaundiced look at the world of Reagan-era downtown Manhattan bohemia apparently aims to be a modern version of the 16th-century ``jest book''--a series of short, witty, often ribald stories that nonetheless teach moral lessons through the lives of hapless characters--but doesn't quite reach its mark. The Fortuneteller is a failed-poet-turned-editor whose cronies include a bitter art critic, a pretentious avant-garde artist and various hangers-on. Obie Award-winning playwright Wellman's ( Bad Penny ) first novel has them spending time at a bar called The Predicament, going to parties, engaging in casual sex, trying to find themselves, and shouting, ``Meaning! I ask you: at this late date, how do you come to demand, of all things, meaning?'' Unfortunately, the author begs this question with a subplot about a murderer named Lovelace who always leaves with his victims a poem by the English cavalier poet of the same name. Sometimes it appears that Wellman wants to connect this random violence with the random, cynical lives he describes; elsewhere, it seems his only message is that his characters' heyday was ``a good time to be alive, if you were white and young and had a lot of money.'' (Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information, Inc.)
Also by Mac Wellman:
A Shelf in Woop's Clothing [Sun & Moon], $14.95
Bad Penny at Bow Bridge [Sun & Moon], $9.95
Crowtet 1: A Murder of Crows and The Hyacinth Macaw, Digital Only
Crowtet 2: Second-Hand Smoke and The Lesser Magoo, $9.95
Q's Q: An Arboreal Narrative, $9.95
The Land Beyond the Forest: Dracula and Swoop [Sun & Moon], Out of Stock
The Professional Frenchman [Sun & Moon], $9.95

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