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Asphalt
by Carl Hancock Rux

Category: Fiction / General
255 pages; ISBN: 0743474007

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Asphalt
Carl Hancock Rux
Atria, May 2004, $24.00, 255 pp.
ISBN: 0743474007

After a failed spin in Paris, disc jockey Racine returns home to Brooklyn where he moves into a slumlord’s dream house (at least before the apocalyptic devastation), a rundown brownstone. In the tenement reside other surviving souls that welcome him into the gig. "Holy Mother" Lucinda is dying while Mawepi takes care of her. Manny is a drug user who welcomes Racine as a club peer; exotic erotic dancer Couchette makes him feel at home. Though based on his childhood with a brimstone breathing uncle and a negligent mother that left him short a couple of balls that might not be such a good thing.

Racine gets a gig "spinnin" at the illegal nightclub Alibi. Shy outside of the music, Racine and Couchette start dancing together. However, like him Couchette has demons since her mother deserted her for Bali and her father committed suicide inside the brownstone. Only the music provides the magic to escape the devils that haunt this couple and for that matter the others living inside this Brooklyn oasis as a rave awaits their presence.

ASPHALT is a weird tale that occurs in a near future in which the Brooklyn Bridge has sunk into the bay and lawlessness and marauding gangs are everywhere. The five prime players each have troubles that disturb their respective soul even without the destruction of civilization that threatens to engulf their brownstone oasis. Though the plot lacks a substantive center, Carl Hancock Rux provides a deep look at disturbed individuals especially Racine in environs in which no one can dodge a world on the abyss.

Harriet Klausner

 

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