Cover image for Loonglow
Eisenbach, Helen, 1958-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1988.
Physical Description:
pages cm
Format :

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A first novel unplagued by the usual defects (which means that it's neither self-consciously autobiographical nor derivative in style, nor is its plot so elementary you wonder if it came straight from daytime television). Clayton Lee is a young man newly arrived in New York from Tennessee. One day he notices a pretty woman and tracks her-nothing kinky, just an honest pursuit of someone he'd like to know. There is another wrinkle in Clay's life-he has a book he wants published. Starting a meaningful relationship with a woman and getting his book into print are the two conflicts that engage the reader in this outwardly flip but fundamentally sensitive novel of contemporary professional life in the Big Apple. Eisenbach writes with a crystal-clear, beguiling irony that is never prickly, always stimulating. BH. [OCLC] 87-33592

Publisher's Weekly Review

This first novel is depressing. Characterization has been sacrificed to purported wit, and instead of plot development, there is a succession of scenes that neither reveal character nor portray gripping circumstances. Clay, a rich Southerner at play in New York, is obsessed by a beautiful woman he sees in a bar; the woman, Mia, is a lesbian involved with Louey, a book editor, who in turn is obsessed by Mia but becomes involved with Clay, whose book (a tired satire on Bright Lights, Big City Clay jokingly calls Bright Lights, Hot Pussy) she eventually comes to edit. There seems to be no reason for a committed lesbian to have a fling with a man, much less a bad writer (on the evidence of his novel excerpted in italics) whose work she respects for no discernible reason; there is even less reason for Louey to continue to pine for Mia. The characters are not people, but archetypes (they refer to each other as ``baby,'' ``dollface,'' ``honey,'' ``girl,'' ``girlie'' and ``sugar''), complete with ``witty'' repartee that is obscure, tiresome and not at all funny. Troubled childhoods come back to haunt most of them in two- or three-page chapters periodically dropped in. Louey and Clay's unusual a deux is simply a variation on the central relationship in Stephen McCauley's Object of My Affection, a novel notable for precisely what is missing herea narrative with vitality, humor and sincere emotion. 75,000 first printing. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

$16.95. f Clay is an aspiring writer living on Scotch and family money in New York City. He falls madly in love with Mia D'Allesandro, ``the most lethal woman this side of Gomorrah''; and then with Louey, the young woman Mia has jilted. As Louey introduces Clay to her world of women's bars and gay marches, they begin a tentative affair. But Louey deserts Clay the minute Mia whirls back into her life. When this sad triangle later regroups in London, Clay is a famous author and Louey a successful artist. They decide to have another go at it. Appealing minor characters and some clever dialogue do not save this first novel from mediocrity. Not a necessary purchase. Maurice Taylor, Brunswick Cty. Lib., Southport, N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.