from El Paso Times
could be author's best creation
Special to the Times
Rechy's latest work "The Life and Adventures of Lyle
Clemens" is loosely modeled after Henry Fielding's
"The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling."
The characters of this work
will stay with the reader a long time: attractive, naive
Lyle and his beautiful mother Sylvia, a Miss America hopeful,
who wants Lyle to become the image of the tall, handsome
cowboy who abandoned her when he learned she was pregnant.
Lyle's lovely high-school
sweetheart Maria wants him to demonstrate the various
definitions of love she wishes for. A group of fundamentalist
activists -- who have tormented his mother, but are attracted
by Lyle's charm and good looks -- want him to become "the
Lord's Cowboy," an icon to promote their televangelist
Even when he makes a final
break and leaves home for Los Angeles, Lyle finds that
a crowd of devious individuals surrounds him -- fake magicians,
wacko gamblers, otherworldly showgirls and underhanded
The account of an aging
starlet attempting a comeback by involving Lyle in an
unforgettable Academy Awards ceremony is truly remarkable.
Still, Lyle continues on and in the end becomes who he
is meant to be, himself.
As always, Rechy uses his
talent to illuminate the lives of those who cannot speak
for themselves. "The Life and Adventures of Lyle
Clemens" is an excellent work that presents Rechy
at his height as a writer and narrator.
It is worthwhile noting
that Rechy's "The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez"
is required reading in many Chicano literature courses
and is the featured selection of El Paso Public Library's
Read as One/Leamos Juntos reading program.
Przepasniak, an avid reader, is the administrator at the
El Paso Main Library.