Schultz by J.P. Donleavy - review by Margaret Stronach

Margaret Stronach

Heroic Lance



Allen Lane 376pp £5.95 order from our bookshop

I’m an avid reader of Donleavy's novels of the sexual picaresque, though I suppose that, as a femininist, I should be ashamed of myself. A new one, Schultz, and the re-issue of The Onion Eaters (1971) and A Fairy Tale of New York (1973) provide a feast.

Schultz has all the best-selling Donleavy ingredients: snobbery, fabulous wealth, all manner of astonishing feats of sex, epic meals, an obsessed hero whose talents for turmoil are faithfully reflected in the plot's preposterous climaxes, all narrated in Donleavy's hip, pacey stream of consciousness style. We've read novels very like it before, of course, but when you're on to a winner, why change?

Donleavy's plots are simply vehicles for a series of episodes of mayhem and chaos which, like the wild Irishman in Schultz's show, 'reduce dull reality to the sublimely ridiculous in a trice'. Sometimes they are as rambling and fanciful as his titles have lately tended to be, and it is

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