Thursday, April 14, 2011

Friday's Forgotten Books: Jana by David Veronese

Publisher: Serpent's Tail, 1993

Jana (A Tale of Decadence) is indeed just that, decadent. Eddie Verlaine is a young American male hanging out in Amterdam when he meets Jana, a mysterious feme-fatale character that he becomes completely captivated by. So much so that when she asks him for a large sum of money, he gives it to her without hesitation. When Jana introduces him to her friends, he's soon involved with drug smuggling.

Eddie is a bit of a reckless character, somewhat aimless, and continually puts himself in harms way. He doesn't seem to have any idea what he's doing or why. I don't know that I like such a hapless main character. Mostly I found myself angry with his stupidity. But the other eclectic cast of characters are compelling and memorable. I loved Veronese's descriptive prose. Jana is a wonderfully audacious novel unlike anything I can think to compare it to.

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