Julian Moynahan is one of the most attractive novelists around -- intelligent, disconcerting, involving. His new split-level...

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GARDEN STATE

Julian Moynahan is one of the most attractive novelists around -- intelligent, disconcerting, involving. His new split-level novel deals on the one hand with the dissolution going on all around us -- in this case when a large pharmaceutical company finds 250 acres (which was to have been a park) in New Jersey where it might relocate. On the other with Howard Butler who owns ten of the acres in question which he has converted into a tree nursery after running away from a New York job in advertising and the domestic wasteland of a WASPy wife and a dropout daughter. Howard, like Myles McCormick in Pairing Off, is again a ""marginal man""; he will also remind you of a Cheever character in his inner uncertainty and outward unpredictability -- spending a sodden night with a barmaid or running away (Howard is always running) to his treehouse. And while some of the story is concerned with the township's fight to protect its community interests against the corporate intruder (while ghetto gunfire resonates within hearing distance) -- most of it deals with returning Howard to a modified version of his previous existence, his head and heart reasonably together. Moynahan's novel is contemporary in the best sense -- full of flashpoint perceptions which are divertingly comic while seriously aware of the world which closes in on us in one way or another.

Pub Date: July 31, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1973