The Lusty Man

by Terry Griggs,
ISBN: 0889841594

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First Novels - Ninth Century Fox
by Eva Tihanyi

In The Lusty Man (The Porcupine's Quill, 176 pages, $16.95 paper), Terry Griggs is concerned with heritage of a very different kind. Her protagonist, the clumsy Innis C. George, who is on a journey to find out about the "lusty man", a stone phallus that has come into his possession, accidentally drives his sports car into a northern Ontario lake. He is rescued and hospitalized on a nearby island where he meets up with the Stink clan, a bizarre and bumptious bunch who wreak continual havoc. Merriment and mischief abound, and despite the weak plot, there is much comedy.

Griggs's strong suit is her prose, which teems with energy and imagination. She is a "writer's writer", who delights in words for their own sake, takes an obvious pleasure in grouping them: a glass leaves "weeping wet haloes on a copy of Paradise Lost"; a woman "feeds" others with her intense gaze, "a vixen-blue exhilarating substance".

It's unfortunate, though, that it's the cleverness one ends up remembering, not the characters.


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