Distant Stations

Distant Stations

  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552115029
  • 9780552115025

Review Text

Though Paul Kramer's career as a TV/radio talk-show host is his boyhood dream-world come true, it feels more and more drippy to him; it's time to cut out of New York for a while and "drift." Schwartz's novel drifts right alongside. Out in L.A. to visit his playwright father, a man of considerable dignity almost none of which Paul shares, he meets up with Emily Keller, a tormented writer with father problems of her own (hers was a ventriloquist); and the two of them drink together of kinkiness, grand larceny, and anomie in Palm Springs. What makes Paul such an insufferable character? Is it his narcissism? His glibness? ("We seem to bring out in each other a very lucid cynicism. I like it. I'm attracted to it. I like the dialogue. I'm not often compelled in this direction on a continuous basis.") His voyeurism? (He's given to inspecting other people's wallets, dresser drawers, and notebooks.) Or his dandruffy coyness - which often consists of throwing out quotations from song lyrics? Schwartz also invests Paul's insecurity with superficial references to contemporary authors - mention is made of Bellow, Percy - and put-downs of radio people. Borrowed stylistic tics and trivia add to the catch-all trendiness - and the overall effect is one of depressed cuteness. (Kirkus Reviews)show more