Author Russell Hoban recommended to me by ren_aleria
. Below title selected at random from what was available on the cheap. (Sometimes cheap works, and sometimes it doesn't. It didn't here.)
I'm in the mood for something fun, goddammit, FUN! Is that so much to ask??? T_THoban, Russell. The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz. 1973. London: Bloomsbury, 2000.Summary
: In a world where lions are extinct, middle-aged mapmaker Jachin-Boaz leaves home with a special map of everything promised to his son Boaz-Jachin. Angry, the son revives a lion-king, which then appears mysteriously to Jachin-Boaz, and sets off after his father. Jachin-Boaz has an affair with a younger woman and impregnates her. Boaz-Jachin has a number of flings and experiences a sexual awakening that leads to maturity. Father and son are reunited, the lion that symbolizes their anger over the father-son relationship disappears, and, presumably, both go off somewhere together. Comments
: You know, I don't mind passably-written head trips (possibly drug-inspired--a lot of the old British fantasy lit was, after all--or inspired by drug-inspired scribblings), but what I DO mind are insipid, chest-thumping meditations on the relationship between masculinity and family when it is laced with a heavy dose of misogyny. Every, and I do mean EVERY, female in this short novel was a sexual object to either Boaz-Jachin or Jachin-Boaz's subject. The former manages to sow his "wild oats" every which way on his sea- and roadtrip without ever forming a lasting relationship with any one girl. The latter leaves his wife (who becomes suicidal...and probably won't take him back, either, after all is said and done) for a younger woman, gets her pregnant, and decides to up and leave before she's even a month into it. All in all, a small-minded work whose complex imagery and maunderings of lion and wheel distract from the rather banal message that we can be pissed off about life circumstances, but we can't halt life's progression.Notes
: trade paperback, 1st printingRating
- Not a father-son story I'll be recommending to anyone any time soon.