One True Sentence

Written by Craig McDonald
Review by Kristen Hannum

Nihilism beckoned to “the lost generation” of young, dissolute American writers adrift in 1920s Paris. Author McDonald takes that scene and ramps it up. Our hero, Hector Lassiter, a crime writer, along with his faithful sidekick Ernest Hemingway, finds himself tripping over dead prostitutes and literary magazine editors’ corpses so thick on the ground that they were hard for this reader to keep track of. Knocked out with morphine, wine, and Alice B. Toklas’ brownies, Lassiter is impressively functioning throughout a notable threesome sex scene. He also still finds time to write in various cafés, to fall in love, to give Satanist Aleister Crowley a comeuppance, all while trying to save a lovely, depressed poet – who may be behind the murders.

It’s hard to find A Moveable Feast within these pages, despite appearances by Sylvia Beach, William Carlos Williams, Ford Maddox Ford, Gertrude Stein, Toklas and others. Even so, the comic-book-like action is nonstop fun.