No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew It Cauze Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again Ripe, ungainly, streetwise, glaringly tricked-up, and heavy with reference to (and reverence for) American music, Yunque's 638-page epic lives up to its title. One day… No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew It Cauze Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again Ripe, ungainly, streetwise, glaringly tricked-up, and heavy with reference to (and reverence for) American music, Yunque's 638-page epic lives up to its title. One day… Fiction
Book Review

No Matter How Much You Promise To Cook Or Pay The Rent (Fall 2003)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Writer: Edgardo Vega Yunque; Genre: Fiction

Ripe, ungainly, streetwise, glaringly tricked-up, and heavy with reference to (and reverence for) American music, Yunque's 638-page epic lives up to its title. One day in the mid-'80s, precocious half-Puerto Rican teen Vidamia Farrell -- born on New York City's scrappy Lower East Side, raised in its gilded suburbs -- seeks the father she never knew. He, Billy Farrell, is a one-time pianist who lost two fingers and the bit of gray matter bearing his prodigious jazz knowledge in Vietnam. She resolves to buy him a piano, and Yunque riffs on themes of cultural identity. Less successfully, he further crams in discursions on puberty, post-traumatic stress disorder, and hermaphroditism; walk-ons by Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane; and a load of unbelievable dialogue. Somewhere inside this baggy saga is a nice little story.

Originally posted Oct 10, 2003 Published in issue #732 Oct 10, 2003 Order article reprints
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