By Tom De Haven
Updated October 23, 1992 at 04:00 AM EDT

In Darcey Steinke’s much-hyped new novel, a woman named Jesse searches for her bisexual boyfriend and ends up flirting with a prostitute whose ambition is to become ”perverse and powerful.” After the initial fascination with Jesse’s amorality flags, boredom reigns. Steinke is slumming, evoking sleaze for its own sake while trying, unsuccessfully, to shock us. Midway through San Francisco’s underbelly, Jesse comments that everyone is ”hopelessly self-conscious.” The same can be said of Suicide Blonde. D

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