Picks and Pans Review: The Club

updated 04/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Steven Gaines and Robert Jon Cohen

The jacket is black and silver with an Art Deco border, just like an invitation from, say, Studio 54. Yet another roman à clef on New York's most infamous night spot? Well, Cohen once worked as a bartender there. The Club has a Liza Minnelli-like actress at its center. She is trying to get her career back on track. The club's boss? "He wasn't straight; he wasn't gay. He wasn't anything. He hardly ever got involved himself. He just watched." All the characters are defined by what they wear, their sex preferences and the drugs they take. Unlike some disco novels, this one is reasonably coherent, but the authors are so laid-back the reader has no inkling of how to feel. Are the characters stupid, evil, insane, pitiful? The reader becomes just a voyeur of joyless acts of decadence. It's a bum trip. (Morrow, $10.95)

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