A Gypsy Good Time

    Dowdy Lewis Jr. is an alcoholic, divorced Vietnam veteran and co-owner of a struggling Los Angeles bookstore when he meets Yvonna Lablaine, a sexy producer for a major firm studio. He wisecracks her into having an affair, but she soon proves to be far more than Dowdy bargained for. Not only has a friend of Yvonna's, a secretary at the studio, been found with her throat slit, but Yvonna is arrested for possession of heroin. After Dowdy scrambles to raise money to get her out of prison, Yvonna disappears. The remainder of this short novel takes Dowdy and the reader in search of her through the seamiest parts of Hollywood and L.A., here populated by power- and sex-crazed film moguls, Mafia-connected drug dealers and brutality-prone police. Hasford (The Short-Timers, which was the basis for Stanley Kubrick's film Full Metal Jacket) supplies a good share of sharp, funny repartee. Too often, however, his prose is hyperventilated--he describes a redhead as having ".45-caliber lips"--or trite ("Alcohol is the medicine for those allergic to civilization"). This is a fairly entertaining diversion, but with its machine-gun-like bursts of dialogue and incredibly violent denouement, one senses that Hasford wrote it with the film version in mind.

COPYRIGHT Cahners Publishing Co. 1992

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