A writer The New York Times Book Review calls "Swiftian at times in his ferocity and wit" sets his savage new novel in a trailer park in Florida, a place where the aged wait to die -- until an enchanting young beauty arrives and makes sparks fly.
Forever and Forever, the trailer park/gulag for the over-sixty-five set in Harry Crews's stinging new satire, provides Florida sun, few services, and all the dehumanization that waiting for death while getting a tan can offer. It's fine fodder for Crews's mordant wit.
In Celebration, Crews unleashes a spark -- actually a walking bonfire -- of life energy into this dreary locale. She goes by the name of Too Much, and she's dedicated to the chance of ultimate possibility. Exulting in her power to bring joy and celebration where there had only been resignation and despair, this beautiful and wildly sensual bombshell stirs up trouble, awakening appetites that most were sure had died decades ago -- in short, she brings new life to this cemetery annex. The result is a black comedy that is both darker and funnier than anything Harry Crews has written before.
"Crews is a Rabelaisian satirist who toys with the more gothic aspects of southern literature, particularly in this kinky tale. Readers will know that they've entered the realm of the absurd as soon as they meet Too Much, a flexible and lusty beauty right out of Lil' Abner, tight cutoffs, big boobs, and all. Too Much descends on a Florida trailer park called Forever and Forever like a hurricane, riling everyone at this purgatory for old folks who are too raggedy to enjoy retirement but not quite broken down enough for a rest home. Too Much easily seduces Stump, the bitter, one-handed vet who owns this depressing settlement, then unceremoniously deposes him while stirring up long-forgotten appetites in the Old Ones, with her five-alarm body and nihilistic faith in what she calls the "chance of ultimate possibility." Crews is funny, his plot is nearly surreal, and his playing with our notions of good and evil is clever and entertaining, but this is, at base, a very silly novel. --Donna Seaman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"With more than 20 books behind him, Crews (The Mulching of America, etc.) tightens his grasp on the reins that guide readers into his comically twisted, dark world. His newest satire takes place in a south Florida retirement community called Forever and Forever, whose owner, Stump (named for his handless arm), prefers to keep his community a place for the dying and near-dead, refusing to acknowledge the individuality of its residents, the Old Ones. The community drastically changes, however, when a sex-exuding teenage woman called Too Much, whose habit it is to ferociously scratch herself in obscene places, drifts onto the scene. She will do anything (even facilitate the death of those who refuse to improve their lives) to make everyone believe in what she calls the "chance of ultimate possibility" and to give meaning to their declining years. She even performs an erotic "circus act" with Stumps' stump in order to help him forget his deformity. The novel culminates in a May Day celebration that Too Much has planned to make the Old Ones feel young again. Even with the recalcitrant, racist Stump in the way, Too Much's work shows profit when Justice, a black wino and former boxer, sets aside his bottle and becomes aware of his possibilities. But, this being Harry Crews, warm sentiment is not the governing authority. No one escapes Crews's critical pen as his caricatures comically portray the elderly coming to grips with the brutal and messy reality of mortality. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved