Saturday, November 5, 2011

Linger Awhile by Russell Hoban

Irving Goodman readily admits that he is a dirty old man. An eighty-three-year-old widower who was happily, and faithfully, married for twenty-seven years, he has just fallen in love again. But the only problem is that this is 2003 and the object of his affections, Justine Trimble, the perky blonde star of 1950s era Hollywood B-westerns has been dead for forty-seven years.

Luckily, Irving has a friend, a tech wizard named Istavan Fallock, who will find a way to resurrect Justine from the black and white vhs videotape and bring to life a real living and breathing 3-D Justine that Irving can get his lusty hands upon. But, as always happens, problems arise. The first is that after his first glimpse of Justine Istavan decides that he wants her all for himself. The second is that Justine needs blood, and lots of it, to keep her in glorious Technicolor, otherwise she fades back to black and white and soon the sexy vampire cowgirl is on the prowl in London and the police are investigating the bloodless corpses she leaves in her wake.

This is one of those books that sounds much better than it actually is. I saved it for months while I was working on my last novel, looking forward to reading it, anticipating a real treat, only to be let down. It’s not awful, it’s an ok little book, only 132 pages long, good for a quick read, but the magic was lacking, it’s like the literary equivalent of today’s direct to video or dvd horror movie releases.

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