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Nicole Panter:

PO Box 862
Venice CA, 90294


If you saw the punk-rock documentary THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, you saw Nicole Panter trying to manage THE GERMS. THE GERMS were a popular band that had trouble getting booked in local clubs because the band members were too fucked up to play their instruments, and the singer often crawled around on the floor, forgetting the words to the song he was trying to sing, and simply mumbled stuporous alcoholic drug-infested guttural sounds instead. Nicole has come a long way since then. In her latest book of short stories, MERCURY RETROGRADE, she takes on the innocence of two teen-aged girls moving to San Francisco. You catch an honest insight to that innocent ignorance, and learn, along with the girls, what it is like to grow up in an ugly city. In another story (the best Nicole has written to date), she examines the relationship between a young woman in her 30's with an "older man." The brutal sexuality, manipulations, lies and dishonesty are captured in a matter-of-fact writing style that comes too close to the truth for comfort. The exploitive nature of the man in the story, and the victimization of the woman, leaves you with that ugly ice-cold alienation you get when a relationship turns into a sack of shit.--oberc

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #3,
Copyright Burning Press 1993, 1995.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press