(John) Robert Gover Biography
Robert Gover Comments:
His trilogy, One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding, Here Goes Kitten, and J.C. Saves, captures in two characters relations between Black and White in America, especially as it evolved during the 1960s.
J.C. Holland first meets Kitten while he is a university sophomore and she a thirteen-year-old prostitute. In the second book, J.C. is public relations director of the local political party in power and encounters Kitten as a nightclub singer, or "B-girl." In the third, he finds her ducking police gunfire during a "race riot." The Maniac Responsible examines the why of a rape-murder case. The protagonist, Dean, becomes so involved in the invisible mental process that led to the brutal slaying that he becomes "possessed." Gover uses Joycean techniques to vivify his character's mental world.
Poorboy at the Party mythologizes the split between rich and poor in America. Randy, the main character, goes with his wealthy friend to a party in a large mansion containing art treasures. Conflicting emotions and values plant seeds of frustration and the party erupts into a violent orgy of destruction.
Going for Mr. Big is the tale of a pimp and his two ladies and a millionaire and his wife. Luke Small is a self-styled revolutionary with a lust to pull down the rich and powerful, but his "campaign" to conquer Malcolm McMasters first backfires, then resolves itself in a meaningful togetherness that is outside the prevailing economic system.
To Morrow Now Occurs Again, published under Gover's pen-name O. Govi, is a surrealist romp through a mythical land called all Damnation, which is one big Plantation where Big Money is the Holy Spirit. The protagonist, Big I and little me, soul and ego of one entity, is baffled by the situation he finds himself in. The Rat Doctor, whose experimental maze of millions of rats is periodically studied to show the workings of society and shed light on the religion of Big Money, does not deter Big I from asserting that his currency is eternal.
Victor Versus Mort, a novella published only in Portuguese, pits two archetypal forces against each other in an American social setting. In the end, the main character's worldly successes are eclipsed by death.
Getting Pretty on the Table, also a novella, carries into a suburban orgy a game played by pimps and prostitutes. The game combines psychic therapy and spiritual cleansing.
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