Cris Mazza's fiction has been called experimental, and stylistically it is, in the same way that Chekov's prose can be called experimental. Like the Russian author, Mazza uses an impressionistic technique to create characters so unusual, they become emblems for whole orders of social ills. Unfolding with the grim assurance of an autopsy, Girl Beside Him lays bare pathologies of self and society. As the novel unfolds, a moody naturalist obsessed with target shooting meets his pretty assistant, rebounding from her bitter divorce, via a classified ad. Brian and Leya work together in the Wyoming outback, a landscape quick with beauty, death and sex. Ostensibly they have joined forces to track wild cougar, but humanity is the most endangered species here. As the story lopes along, the naturalists, made feral by heartbreak and the drone of pop culture, spend the summer tracking cougars.... Taking Sartre's aphorism, hell is other people, to new, dreadful extremes, Mazza's varmits know that the only thing wrong with any landscape is who else is living in it. From deep inside her character's skins, Mazza brings a psychological awareness to her novel that would make Stephen King squirm. In her ninth work of fiction, Cris Mazza walks the fence between man and nature, instinct and compusion, all the while throwing rocks into the yawning gulch between the sexes. As a portrait of our species, Girl Beside Him is a powerful book.Even without the binoculars, camera, compasses, radio receivers, walkie-talkies, data book, rifle and micro cassette recorder, there wasna#39;t enough room to sleep in the helicopter. He would have to return to his room at the motel eventually.
|Title||:||Girl Beside Him|
|Publisher||:||University of Alabama Press - 2001-01|