Suzanne Ruta
January 28, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

Going Native

Current Status
In Season
Stephen Wright
Comic Novels, Fiction

We gave it a B+

Going Native Stephen Wright (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22) This sinister comic novel delivers a weighty indictment of the entertainment industry, examining violence on screen and off and the universal human craving for novelty and its possible perversions. The hero is your average suburban guy with a penchant for serial murder. He kills from boredom when there’s nothing on TV. His victims likewise are media freaks: obsessive channel surfers, porn-video producers. Wright writes an energetic prose full of quirky images (”the blackened ham of the night studded with star cloves”) and plots each chapter like a slasher movie, for maximum suspense. But the mannered media spoof obscures Wright’s gift for vivid, heartfelt description of real people leading real lives. B+ -SR

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