The dark dreams of Carlo Santucci began when he was stricken by rheumatic fever and continue as his fear of neighborhood...

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DARK DREAMS

The dark dreams of Carlo Santucci began when he was stricken by rheumatic fever and continue as his fear of neighborhood bullies, especially Anthony who carries a knife, grows towards an inevitable confrontation. At the same time Carlo, who is living with his grandmother while his father serves in World War II, finds that he can communicate -- perhaps even telepathically -- with the retarded grownup known as Joey' J. Joey J has been barely tolerated as a local ""crazy"" but his friendship for Carlo sets off pressure to have him institutionalized and eventually leads to his regression into passivity and a terminal illness. Thanks to Joey J, Carlo survives Anthony's persecution, but as the retarded man's tragic fate moves to its inexorable conclusion, the story is chiefly sustained by Rinaldo's solidly motivated characterizations -- of Carlo's innately yet profoundly religious Sicilian grandmother, of the grocer Barrera who hides behind a screen of cynicism, and of Carlo himself who faces and conquers the consequences of his own fear and his responsibility to Joey J. Disciplined sentiment and underplayed action, all compellingly balanced.

Pub Date: April 17, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974