On the edge of the literary mainstream, Russell Hoban hankers after weirdness. In his acclaimed 1987 novel The Medusa Frequency, a frustrated author encounters the eyeless, bloated, talking head of Orpheus at every turn of his London life. More recently, in Amaryllis Night and Day, Hoban told a love story about a figurative painter who dreams his lover into existence. Even so, last year he told a newspaper: ‘I've never been as strange as I'd like to be.’ It is perhaps appropriate then that Hoban's latest novel borrows from the 1985 Hollywood teen film Weird Science, in which two adolescent boys use a computer to conjure up the perfect woman, who is made flesh in the form of supermodel Kelly LeBrock.
In Linger Awhile Irving Goodman is suffering an ‘end-of-life’ crisis at the age of eighty-three, many years after the death of his wife, a former DJ with a pirate radio station in the Thames Estuary. Goodman has fallen in love with Justine Trimble, a ballsy 1950s film star, as she