WEDLOCK by A. J. Langguth


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Wedlock -- the proverbial padlock -- is viewed in the ten-year diary kept by the narrator, Brad, as in a disengaged and desultory fashion he records the marriages of his friends perhaps to justify his own single status after the loss of the one girl he had ever loved. Intermittently they appear and Brad is the reluctant witness to their private lives: Ranchek the non-resident husband of Dawn until he loses a job', the Steins and Blacks as they propagate; Jeanne who marries a man who hates her son to provide the latter with a father; Doug Goodwin who changes women as often as his socks; etc., etc. Brad will tell you that marriage is in essence only the antidote to loneliness but he never fully persuades you so that what emerges, beyond the general impression of connubial chairs in Southern California, is a fastidious, rather disconsolate audit of a life even less well spent by default. A long way from the earlier Jesus Christs (1968) but successful on its own limited terms.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Knopf