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Arise and Walk

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A follow-up to Night People, Barry Gifford’s last book, Arise and Walk is a mindless pastiche of contrivances masquerading as a novel. Set in New Orleans in some unspecified near future, it tracks a series of characters with irritatingly cutesy names like Bitsy Tunc, allowing each an introduction, a short dramatic interlude, and a spectacular demise by murder or accident. This cartoon fiction by the author of Wild at Heart relies on gratuitous gore for its drama, including a scene in which a woman’s nipple is bitten off by a rat. It is crass, soulless, assembly-line satire that sometimes engages but never enlightens. C

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