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"Bunny Modern"

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For a review of David Bowman’s Bunny Modern (Little, Brown; $21.95) to avoid the words pistol-packing nanny would be an insult to the spirit of Bowman’s futuristic farce. His nannies pack Glocks, Colts, even sawed-off shotguns, all in the name of baby protection. Conception has become so rare, in the book’s darkened America, that the few babies there are squall under constant threat of kidnapping. The hardened child-care providers snort Vengeance, a drug designed to produce tough-love schizophrenia: While they will lay down their lives for their charges, these nannies hate the sight of a nappy. It gets zanier, and more cutting, from there, as Bowman introduces Lit Wear (best garment: an “I Could Not Stop for Death” blouse); the dancing Lindy family; and a mind-meld technique known as sheldraking. Like Mark Leyner without the dirty jokes, or Mark O’Donnell without the camp, Bowman is spinning a future out of our worst nightmares of pretension.


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