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Friday, February 7, 2014

"People Person" by Trent Zelazny

My all-time favorite Trent Zelazny (interview) works must be To Sleep Gently, "Found Money" and "The House of Happy Mayhem" wherein we have gangsters, a humorous chase story with inept gansters, and a crazy man who isn't quite aware of this. "People Person" bangs at the door of his best works. It nearly made it on the Stoker preliminary ballot.

Jeffrey Carlisle is a normal--if slightly smaller than normal--male:  a baseball cap, T-shirt and jeans kind of guy. He's lost his younger sister, Jessica. He drives and parks where he thinks she's disappeared.

He works part-time as a mover for a guy who tries to cheat him at every turn.

The story really rolls as soon as he starts to involve himself in a neighbor lady who is no longer in love with the drunk who keeps banging on the apartment door where his name is still on the lease. Jeff urges the drunk to move on.

He runs into his neighbor, Maddy Eggars, the source of the drunk's woes. Jeff may be slightly attracted to her, but nothing has yet occurred. Nonetheless, he feels protective of her, and she turns to his aid when the drunk seems about to get out of hand...

Interesting protagonist whose motives are perhaps too veiled. It seems he overreacts--at least according to Maddy's characterization. This throws his other life mysteries into dubious light. The text does not supply answers, however. Recommended for those interested in troubled and troubling characters.

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