Image of Three-Martini Lunch


Image of Three-Martini Lunch

Readers will find the Greenwich Village backdrop of beatniks, jazz clubs, sex, gender, race and sexual orientation, combined with an insider view of the publishing world, the most intriguing aspects of Rindell’s tale. The varied viewpoints and stylized voices may confuse some as they attempt to engage with characters who are largely unlikable. However, this morality play will appeal to fans of the era.

It’s 1958 and Cliff Nelson has just quit college; been cut off by “The Old Man,” a successful NY editor; and moved to the Greenwich Village scene filled with jazz, poetry and free thinkers. He joins a group of young men, writers and artists. He is soon intrigued by Miles Tillman, a student from Harlem who is writing a novel. The two share some of their work and Cliff learns of Miles’s search into his father’s past. Shortly after arriving in New York, Eden Katz becomes one of their group. Ambitious and determined to make it in publishing, she is frustrated by the obstacles placed in her path because she’s a woman. Their similar goals draw Eden and Cliff together, but it is Cliff’s desperation to be published and “show up” his hypocritical father that compels him to commit an act of betrayal. His actions have the power to destroy friendships, love and send his life spiraling downward. (PUTNAM, Apr. 512 pp., $30.00)

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Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin