anti-m wrote:It starts off auspiciously, but by the end it just peters out. I remember actually being pissed off by the end. (And whatâ€™s with his tennis obsession??)
I've heard this before and it's usually from people who haven't really pieced together the plot (admittedly not the easiest task). There is a satisfying plot in there.
All the tennis stuff stems from his being a pretty good tennis player in his youth. There's an essay about it in A Supposedly Fun Thing
I interpret the closing section of the book (Fackelman on massive amounts of drugs as a futile escape from his impending doom, etc) as a metaphor for all the O.N.A.N.-related political struggles. Both Fackelman and the U.S. are trying to exploit a three-way relationship (Fax with Whitey Sorkin and Eighties Bill; the U.S. with Canada and Mexico). The massive drug intake when faced with crisis is part of novel's overall theme of 'escapism no matter what the cost' and is certainly symptomatic of the U.S. under President Gentle. It seems to suggest that, like Fax's case, O.N.A.N. will end very badly.