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IN BRIEF

Fiction

June 23, 1991|Sharon Dirlam

TEN SECONDS by Louis Edwards (Graywolf Press: $8.95; 166 pp.). Eddie is happily married, but he doesn't want to give up other women. Eddie thinks women are better than men, especially Betty, his wife, and he's pretty sure she's smarter than he is, too. Eddie's not somebody who would call himself a thinker, but things do churn in his mind. Time flows back and forth in this book, tracing events from Eddie's boyhood to his 30s and back again. He is always aware of the future, the past and the invisible present, the part he can't or won't experience or feel or cry about. Eddie loves Betty, but he feels hemmed in by her, too. He'd rather be out drinking and chasing women with Malcolm. But then Malcolm dies. Eddie knows that Betty wants more from him than he's used to giving: She wants his real self. "Being himself would mean having to be consistently original." This goal the novel achieves.

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