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About the Author

Richard Lester Meyers, better known by his stage name Richard Hell, is a singer, songwriter, bass guitarist and writer. Hell was in several important, early punk bands, including Neon Boys, Television and The Heartbreakers, after which he formed Richard Hell & the Voidoids.


Drug-addicted punk-rocker Billy Mudd is commissioned in 1980-along with his French photographer girlfriend, Chrissa-to drive across country in a 1957 DeSoto looking for America. Things get off to an inauspicious start when Billy, in search of pot, seduces the receptionist at the first motel they stay at, but somehow he and Chrissa reconcile. When Billy's dope supply runs out in Reno, he drinks his way through withdrawal, but upon reaching Denver, he picks up a prearranged package of heroin and is stoned again. An afternoon of explosive sex with Chrissa in the New Mexico desert follows. The relationship fragments, however, and finally breaks down-about the same time as the DeSoto-in Billy's hometown of Lexington, Ky., when Chrissa catches Billy in bed with his aunt. A sexually charged, drug-fueled trip across the country is an unoriginal scenario, one that's mirrored in the too familiar characters here. But Hell, the founder of such proto-punk bands as the Heartbreakers and Television, writes with occasional zest and in an authentic voice. (June)

In his first novel, Hell, an originator of the Punk Rock movement, presents the story of junkie musician Billy and his French girlfriend, Chrissa. Hell's tale contains lots of sex and drugs but not enough rock'n'roll, which is too bad, because the rock'n'roll could have made this book more exciting. Reading about someone mainlining heroin, snorting coke, smoking dope, and raiding a relative's medicine cabinet for Percodan, etc., wears thin even when the narrator is as intelligent, funky, and sex-obsessed as Billy. And though Billy gets it just right when he describes places‘as the title implies, Go Now is also a road novel‘instead of seeing Nineties America from a rocker's perspective, we just see more of Billy's head. This is not to imply that some of Billy's riffs aren't interesting, or that Hell fails at giving us an inside view of a druggie's existence. But one evenutally tires of run-on sentences describing the depraved life. Recommended only for collections in which this kind of book will elicit interest.‘Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, Ind,

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