Distribution Automatique

Sunday, April 3

*Blade Runner* Rides Again

I was at home sick with a aching, sneezy cold
on a gray, incessantly rainy day and
happened to have gotten to the library recently
and pulled a book off the shelf that wierdly
felt like I already knew all about it, and
in a way, I did. The book is resonant with
concepts of deja vu, and problematizes
memory in ways that Proust is famous for,
though sadly I find that eminent author impossible
to read. This book I found is the kind that
can make you glad you have a terrible cold, almost.

Also, if you're a Phillip K. Dick fan, or
a *Blade Runner* fan, you definitely will
want to check out

Los Angeles {click here}
by Peter Moore Smith, a novel
I enjoyed almost, but not quite, as much as Grant Bailie's *Cloud 8* and
for similar reasons. First of all, it's a page turner, and secondly
it deals with a lonely figure whose effort to figure out love,
life and the world takes you into unexpected regions. In
this case that region is Los Angeles, a mythical Hollywood
that exists as much in the imagination of the world as it does
in the mind of the central character of this striking second novel.
The main character is an albino who is misogynistic, drug
and alcohol addicted, but, in his own way, as charming as Salinger's Holden
Caulfield. One of his quirks is leaving *Blade Runner* on
on his TV all the time, something I nearly did myself for many years
(the Ridley Scott movie came out in the early 80's).
Who knows, Angel may become this generation's "Catcher in the Rye"
(of course, this one is 30, not 16)
whose attitudes cut right through all the contemporary platitudes about
money, love, religion and politics. What happens is that rich, lonely albino Angel
(his father is a fabulously wealthy movie director) gets visited by
sultry, electrifying, black Angela, who then disappears,
making Angel (himself, a putative screen writer) a
Blade Runner in reverse; he has to find Angela to save her.
His travels take us through the underside of Hollywood as a metaphor
for contemporary existence, most pointedly, family, memory, and the agonizing
process of maturation. The tough, noir language is as irrisistible
as a second scotch on a lonely night. And it's as hard to book this book down
as it is for Angel to put a bottle of pills down; the trip is wild, and worth it.