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Kenneth Radu

Montreal, Vehicule Press, 1990. 182pp, paper, $12.95
ISBN 1-55065-10-6. CIP

Reviewed by Don Precosky.

Volume 19 Number 3
1991 May

Kenneth Radu's Private Performance is a collection of fourteen very good stories. Inmost of them Radu shows us the world through the eyes of not particularly admirable male characters. Each story is short (ten to fifteen pages on average), realistic, and character-based. He is particularly interested in mother-son relationships.

The characters are mainly warped individuals living warped lives in warped relationships. Cory, the protagonist in "Extreme Caution," becomes a gigolo in order to support his aged mother. The mother in the title story believes (and has everyone else believing) that she is a Russian aristocrat exiled by the revolution when in fact "her real name is Betty Harbinger, born in Saskatoon." Radu's most daring performance is "State Visit," much of which takes place inside the head of Queen Elizabeth. It ends with her majesty pinned to the floor of her limousine by the body of an assassi­nated African dictator.

This book should be read by anyone who enjoys good fiction.

Don Precosky, College of New Caledonia, Prince George, B.C.
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