"Something to think about"
Sixty plus years old apartment super Charlie Sarris is
outraged that the landlord rented out the room by the water
heater. Charlie uses that room to drink himself into
oblivion. The new renter, failed Indian medicine man John
Stone, is also in his mid sixties and enjoys alcohol as
much as Charlie, which leads to a drinking camaraderie.
Charlie is awed by the duality of John's nature as the
medicine man oozes a calming serenity while just below that
soothing surface lies a disappointed outrage that
occasionally surfaces. Soon the two buddies trek to a
lodge near Binghamton where another medicine man, Joe
Whiteshirt may have caused John's painful burns. When
Charlie learns that his teenage daughter is pregnant, he is
unable to cope so he accompanies John to Florida for a
final showdown with Whiteshirt.
COUNTING COUP is an insightful look at two aging,
acerbic individuals struggling with lost and wasted youth.
The tale employs Native American mysticism and New Age
elements to further contrast the theme of aging road
warriors refusing to accept that life has passed them by.
Charlie and Jack are excellent characters whom readers will
find interesting due to Jack Dann's indepth look at their
flawed personalities that seems like a forecast of what
boomers expecting to change the world for the better can
contemplate will happen to them. Though a bit to New Agey
at times, Mr. Dann can count coup with the many readers who
will find this novel very fascinating.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted September 28, 2001