Just finished this, one of 16 Rabe novels I ordered from Stark House in fulfillment of an ancient sense of obligation (I had never read a word of Rabe...read his divorced wife Claire [Rabe, initially as by "Anna Winter"]'s Olympia Press novel FLESH AND BLOOD when it was published with mine and five others in 1969 in a series of "the inaugural American Olympia hardcover novels" all of which bombed ferociously...it was quite good). This is one of the craziest, most disjointed, most fascinatingly implosive and explosive novels I have ever read; as I just observed to my patient spouse "When you are turning out books for $2500 advances in two or three weeks because you are trying to make a living you can't go back and get it right, but if he had had that unlikely opportunity this could have been a breakthrough work." Even so, I have never read existential fragmentation and individual psychic breakdown merged the way that Rabe manages in the final 15,000 words. That was my off again, on again shtick and in the fourteenth and final novel of THE LONE WOLF [series published as by "Mike Barry"] I might have gotten close but Rabe was on another planet. It's on a level with the last chapters of LOLITA and Rabe does not for better or worse allow linguistic virtuosity to get in his way.
I feel driven to make this observation public, just for the record. As you were, ladies and gents.
--BNM, reprinted with permission from Rara-Avis.
A Malzberg birthday redux post, from 22 December 2017