RARA-AVIS: Pete Hautman

Kate Derie (cluelass@cluelass.com)
Fri, 24 Dec 1999 12:07:08 -0800

I recently finished Ring Game by Pete Hautman. He is sometimes compared to Leonard or Hiassen or one of the other "absurdist" (good word for them, Sharon) crime writers. In this book at least. he is not as over-the-top, perhaps because the book takes place in the Twin Cities area rather than Florida or California. The book meanders around in an amiable fashion; the plot, such as it is, centers on a caper planned by a feckless petty criminal to get his revenge on a New Age-y sect that promises immortality for its followers. No, he's not mad because they are frauds, he is mad because he got kicked out and isn't getting what he considers his rightful share of the takings. Along the way we get to share the point of view of several memorable characters, like the woman who wears a necklace of dead goldfish to keep guys from hitting on her at the gym. (OK, maybe that's a *little* over-the-top. But I could identify with where she's coming from.) Anyway, it was a pleasant diversion, but I still can't decide if I would call it crime fiction or just wacky modern lit. Any other opinions on Hautman?

Regards, Kate Derie Creator of the ClueLass HomePage, http://www.cluelass.com Editor of the Deadly Directory, http://www.deadlyserious.com

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