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    Review of MOON OVER MANHATTAN by Larry King & Thomas H. Cook


    New Millennium Press, 2003

    Arthur Vandameer is a liberal hypocrite, preaching his causes on television while living an elitist life at home. His teenaged daughter, Allison, comes up with a strategy to overcome his plans to send her to Harvard--she'll pretend to elope with Goonie--one of the many annoyances she cultivates simply to frustrate her father. Her plan goes wrong when Goonie misses his appointment, Allison takes up with a con-man wanna be, and right-wing reporter Charlie Moon comes to interview Arthur only to find Arthur's life unravelling.

    MOON OVER MANHATTAN is a sort of paean to New York's eccentricity. All of the characters are over the top as they pursue selfish and frequently self-destructive goals. When the entire cast of the novel ends up on the set of Arthur's television show, the scene is set for an explosion of epic proportions--which does happen although in a way that might surprise.

    Authors Larry King and Thomas H. Cook (see more reviews of novels by Cook) keep the novel moving forward with smooth writing and cruel humor. The ordinary people are portrayed as idiots (as in the con-man's wife disguises herself as a gigantic peanut to track her husband), liberal Arthur as a paranoid hypocrite, and right-wing Charlie as a paranoid who can't get it up.

    In its even-handed insults, MOON OVER MANHATTAN reflects at least some of the realities of New York. In the Foreword, Larry King writes that he was inspired by the events of 9/11. I think MOON misses the mark a bit if it's intended to portray characters as likable.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 7/11/03

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