Picks and Pans Review: Queen of Swords

updated 02/27/1984 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/27/1984 01:00AM

by William Kotzwinkle

The hero of this offbeat novel identifies himself as a Famous Unknown Author. He is a fitness freak who lives in a house on the New England coast. When a friend asks the hero to join him in the drug racket, the author's previously passive wife stops him. If he gets into drugs, she threatens, she won't shave her legs. Should that strike you as funny, you'll love this highly original fantasy. The hero eventually falls for a female congo drummer who performs in a nightclub, and he moves in with her. Soon he finds that he's able to write only pornography—as he did before his marriage. Kotzwinkle, who has written the novelization of E.T. and 11 other books, knows how to twist such trendy subjects as jogging and health-food and drug-culture obsessions so that they seem utterly ridiculous. Kotzwinkle deserves a decent book jacket. This one—a poor painting of three caped figures in front of a Victorian mansion—conveys nothing of the quality of his comic novel. (Putnam, $13.95)

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