May 08, 1978 12:00 PM

by Gore Vidal

A tough lesbian airline pilot who writes for a racy tabloid narrates the story in which every trendy phenomenon of our era is held up to ridicule The story’s title character was born Jim Kelly, a wheeler-dealer who declares himself divine, takes on the name Kalki, acquires followers and, through the sale of drugs, enough money to bring off a pseudoreligious caper that will destroy mankind. Vidal isn’t coasting on his credits or slumming as he did in Myra Breckinridge. The plot is fast and slick, the dialogue bright, the observations sharp and sometimes funny. Nasty as it is, Vidal delivers a highly readable forecast of a hideous future. (Random House, $10)

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