Joe Ludwig was the youngest, picture postcard perfect, stateside captain in World War I--never grew past that dashing image...

READ REVIEW

THE DEMON IN THE SUN PARLOR

Joe Ludwig was the youngest, picture postcard perfect, stateside captain in World War I--never grew past that dashing image of himself. But, if he never got wise, he never turned mean either and so he became prime real estate for a resident demon because they traditionally require simpleminded goodness to invade. Drummed out of the Miami fire department, Ludwig refused to acknowledge the momentary cowardice that led to his discharge. He also refused to acknowledge the imperfectability of man and, characteristically, began at the surface level by devoting himself to the rehabilitation of a derelict ark of a house to surround his handsome family like a fortress. The fort is always falling and the first invaders are exasperating cousins fleeing Nazi Germany--a shrewd satire on the performance of demanding refugees. This acts as a comic relief to the growing sense of menace that stalks the house by night with nearby zoo noises for background music. One son shows signs of potential genius as a painter and Ludwig's clumsy efforts to foster and exploit this involve the sun parlor made over as a studio. The adolescent becomes criminally insane, something else Joe Ludwig won't acknowledge nor does he suspect a demonic presence. The short, continuously surprising, novel is Goran's best, most controlled book so far. (The Paratrooper of Mechanic Avenue, Maria Light and the Candy Butcher's Farewell). It entertains but goes beyond forgettable amusement with the successfully transformed strengths of folk humor and demon tales to prod universal tribal memories.

Pub Date: April 8, 1968

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: New American Library

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968