Nearly Roadkill

November 08, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

Caitlin Sullivan and Kate Bornstein’s randy, engaging ”infobahn erotic adventure” Nearly Roadkill is the latest example of E-mail lit, in which a chaotic day-after-tomorrow plot is told through the characters’ in-box missives and cyberchat sessions. Here, the chief protagonists are Scratch and Winc, two online lovers who never do reveal their gender to each other, and in so doing somehow touch off a nationwide FBI manhunt. With a wry teenager as their familiar and our narrator, and a beleaguered fed named Wallace Budge as their pursuer, Scratch and Winc discourse on sexuality — no surprise given that coauthor Bornstein is a transgender performance artist — mess with people’s minds, and create a massive youth following, all while out to do little more than diddle each other electronically. The novel’s Big Brother paranoia is its weakest link and the relatively few sex scenes are more cuddly than cauterizing, but the characters have a tatty, profane earnestness that keeps the reader on line. Best of all, when our two heroes finally meet, they are not at all what you expect. B

Nearly Roadkill

Kate Bornstein,
Caitlin Sullivan
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Nearly Roadkill

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