Armed Response (High Risk Books) by Ann Rower

cover of the book Armed Response (High Risk Books)Armed Response (High Risk Books) by Ann Rower
Genre: Fiction
Copyright Year: 1995
Published: 1995
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail
Format: Trade Paperback
No. of Pages: 200
No. In Series:
ISBN: 9781852424152
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From Publishers Weekly In a competent but unremarkable comic novel, Rower (If You’re a Girl) offers a familiar ironic take on L. A. from the perspective of a downtown New Yorker, whose “armed response” to the City of Angels is the main–and only–focus. Ann–a writer who, in the course of the novel, composes a highly autobiographical short story also called “Armed Response, ”–finds that an unusual number of her relatives in L. A. are dying. There’s her sickly Uncle Leo and Aunt Cherrie, but also young cousin Candee, who commits suicide with insecticide. Ann describes her dysfunctional extended family, keeping a writerly, absurdist distance from them and the tacky, banal, mechanized city in which they live. Contemporary events (the Rodney King verdict and ensuing riots, the 1994 earthquake, the car careering through Washington Square Park) appear to parallel Ann’s woes. Unfortunately, the novel is thin on plot, and the inconsistency of the narrator’s perspective–she swings from superiority over her subject to self-deprecation–is not purposive. Some of Rower’s cracks and observations are clever, but the compilation of snappy sayings and moments never moves beyond the particular. Those who find transcendence in the excruciating particularity of dying Aunt Cherrie’s labia being pulled off as she gets her last bikini wax may, of course, beg to differ. Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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