Forthright, sexy, irreverent, Randi blasts coal as well as any man. Her exuberance makes her irresistible; her straightforward intelligence gets her in trouble and starts her thinking that maybe Karen Silkwood really was onto something, that the men in charge try to do to women what they've always done to the land: harness, control, rape, exploit, manage.
In the diary Randi keeps during her shifts at the mine--Days, Swing, Graves--and later, at home, she tells us the story of her life on the new frontier: of dancing and drugging, of the Tough Guy Contest and Bedrock City, and of her own parents' ruptured marriage. Mostly she tells of her own longing for some kind of shelter, some kind of home amid endless wind and coal companies, amid bars and boomers of the modern American West.
David Breskin's novel is a triumph of voice. His Randi Bruce both celebrates and challenges her times, and delivers to fiction an American we rarely see.
Speeding at you in a single extended sentence, this story is paired, in parallel italicized couplets, with a running commentary Breskin has extracted from the endless bubbling fountain of the Internet. This cyber-Greek chorus (presenting voices ranging from the Department of Defense to the Vagina Institute, from lad mags to cosmologists) is frequently hilarious when not terrifying. Sometimes a stand-in for the noise of the world, but more often a torrent of the unexpected and the mindbogglingly apt, this flow pours into and around our heroine’s story to make a whole that is, somehow and all at once, sympathetic and satiric, profound and profane.
An intertwined and twinning lattice, in which fact and fiction outdo each other in a festival of the improbable and the unassailably so, Supermodel presents the world we know, rendered in a form we have neither seen before nor anticipated. And yet, we recognize it the instant we find it in front of us, right there, living, on the page: the first epic poem of the Internet Age.