Margot Mifflin
February 28, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Scar Lover

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Harry Crews
publisher
Poseidon Press
genre
Romance, Fiction

We gave it an A

A mohawk-bedecked heir to Faulkner, Harry Crews (The Knockout Artist, Body, Car) serves up another Southern-fried freak show in Scar Lover, a love story starring Pete Butcher, a college dropout who arrives in Jacksonville, Fla., despondent over having accidentally damaged his younger brother’s brain by whacking him in the head with a hammer. His luck changes when he meets Sarah Leemer, a beauty with a golf ball-size lump in her breast, through whom he finds redemption and a loving, if peculiar, new family. When Sarah’s father unexpectedly dies, Pete fills his shoes, shifting from misanthrope to family man after assisting in a macabre cremation ceremony with Sarah, her demented mother, and two opportunistic Rastafarians intent on staying on ”the right side of the magic.” As usual, Crews drags his plot to the outer limits of reason, reinforcing its inarguable logic every step of the way. A

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