This, a novella, then a novel, and still incomplete at Lowry's death, has been edited (let's say prepared) by his widow now...

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OCTOBER FERRY TO GABRIOLA

This, a novella, then a novel, and still incomplete at Lowry's death, has been edited (let's say prepared) by his widow now many years later and it is based on a thin narrative web which is usurped by the self-bound, self-indulged presence of the man himself. While the scene this time is Canada, the doom-dream-and-death directed journey is much the same as in Under the Volcano and the very similar Dark as the Grave. And it is spooked by the animism, the poltergeists, the portents which obsessed him as well as the alcohol which consumed him. A kindly commentator described Lowry's style as a ""grace of complication beyond the ordinary""--this would include the abstruse words (digladiation, febrifuge) and wordplay, the imagistic turbulence so that sentences run on and on, openly but repetitiously. The Stygian journey undertaken here is that of Ethan and Jacqueline Llewelyn onwards and backwards through the first ten years or so of their marriage, from the old family house which burns to the ground, to a confining apartment in Vancouver, to a point at land's end--the island of Gabriola. Throughout there are references to Ethan's suddenly terminated career as a criminal lawyer (which Lowry had intended to develop); and to the suicide of a youthful friend which haunts him in recurrent signs (""safeside-suicide"") and which perhaps presages his own obliteration. This is introduced as Lowry's most important book since Volcano; one questions whether it says anything different (were not all his books but the single reflection of his divided self?) but it will be noticed and read by the Aficion.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 1970

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: World

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1970