I love Richard Price’s writing. He has a language and a rhythm all his own. But this novel, an early one (1983), is heavy on style and low on substance. The tale meanders. Price’s observations (through the narration of his protagonist, Peter Keller) are already razor sharp, but he’s on overdrive, and 469 pages of this was tough at times. It’s sometimes fun to read an author’s work out of order. And this is the case with Price. Since I know his more recent stuff, I can see him trying out things that will show up later in his more polished and effective work. Lush Life, for example, is stunning. So I think I have a few old ones to get to, but I’d really like a new one soon.
My Picador edition has a great cover photograph courtesy of Stephen Shames. It fits the book perfectly.