Stona Fitch - Give + Take (2 stars)

Stona Fitch - Give + Take

(Two Ravens)

After two wildly acclaimed novels, Scottish-Cherokee writer Stona Fitch comes crashing back to earth with this lumpen affair about a jazz pianist who goes around stealing from the reasonably well-off to give to the faceless poor. While Senseless and Printer’s Devil received plaudits for bold evocations of dystopian and existential universes, Give + Take hits one bum note after another.

When he’s not tickling his ivories, Ross Clifton (real name Wolfshead) is seducing women to get his paws on their diamonds or breaking into BMWs and sticking the proceeds into the mail boxes of the dispossessed. But when his counterfeiter brother’s teenage son drops in on Ross on tour while he is pursuing a sassy chanteuse, the writing gets wonkier than a Thelonious Monk solo and any tension that Fitch has built up simply melts away. Where Give + Take seeks to swing, this jazz-crime-road hotchpotch simply staggers into one literary cul de sac after another.

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