Roanoke Times
                 Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: SUNDAY, March 29, 1992                   TAG: 9203290164
SECTION: VIRGINIA                    PAGE: A-1   EDITION: METRO 
DATELINE:                                 LENGTH: Medium


"The Floatplane Notebooks," the work that has triggered a book-banning controversy in Carroll County, is not a steamy sex novel. Nor is it a spontaneous literary pop culture effort, a breed of briefly popular quickie books that frequently grace best-seller lists, strong language and all.

It is, instead, a critically acclaimed story about a Vietnam veteran who was horribly wounded in that conflict and who - through the prose of author Clyde Edgerton - provides a first-person narrative of his struggle with his own sexuality after losing control over much of the lower portion of his body.

It is a struggle many Americans, war victims and others who suffer lower-body paralysis, have to contend with.

Newspapers which reviewed it with high praise include The New York Times and The Washington Post. It was named one of the best of the year by Publishers Weekly in 1988.

In Virginia, a review in The Richmond News Leader said the book positioned its author toward "establishing himself as the South's premier novelist, and one of the nation's best."

In the Roanoke Times & World-News, reviewer Greg Edwards praised the novel but said Edgerton needed to "learn how to write the sexual side of his characters with more subtlety."

Six pages of the 259 the Edgerton wrote drew harsh criticism from the outspoken Hillsville radio evangelist and his supporters.

Those pages - 210, 211, 212, 218, 248 and 249 - contain four-letter words considered publicly unmentionable a few years ago but heard today on prime-time television.

The book's depiction of sex - or difficulty with sex, given the physical condition of main character, Meredith - are graphic but limited entirely to the Viet vet's search for sexual gratification with a girlfriend and, after she leaves him, with a second woman more experienced in sexual endeavors.

The book was not one used in Carroll County as a required text for all 11th-grade classes, but only as supplemental reading in two English classes taught by Marion Goldwasser, the school's 1990 teacher of the year. The book has been banned by school administrators.

 by CNB