Craig Nova 1945–
Reviews of Nova's first two novels, Turkey Hash (1972) and The Geek (1975), were mixed. Set on the seamy side of Los Angeles and on a barbaric Greek island, respectively, the two books focus on the lurid and vulgar aspects of life while maintaining a lighthearted manner. Critics called Nova's writing style technically proficient and witty, but some contended that his characters were not sufficiently developed. Incandescence (1979) elicited similar comments. Again the focus is on a down-and-out protagonist who participates in a series of bizarre incidents but does not change or grow over the course of the novel. Critics agreed that Nova did not assist the reader in understanding his characters and used imagery and metaphors which were irrelevant to his themes and story line.
Nova's novel The Good Son (1982) is a departure from his earlier works both stylistically and in subject matter. Critics have unreservedly praised this work for its fully developed characters and engaging story. An upper-class family estate is the setting for a father-son power struggle which parallels the thematic conflict between passion and discipline. The novel is narrated by eight different characters and critics concluded that Nova handled this difficult technique well.
(See also CLC, Vol. 7; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 45-48; and Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vol. 2.)