END OF A SUMMER'S DAY by Adrian Vincent


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First published in England, End of a Summer's Day is a skillfully written account of a man's acceptance of his rather dismal and hopeless lot in life. The story is told in flashback, in the first person, and is occasioned by the narrator's visit to his childhood home by the seaside when he has decided to divorce his wife. Like the dying man that he is Dick Raines sees his life pass before him in the manner of the tawdry films that he sells. His father was a washed-up silent films director who became an exhibitor in the small town that Dick has fond feelings about but always wanted to escape. His mother, overly-protective of Dick, her youngest son, was a mild woman who suffered the humiliations of her husband's infidelities for most of their married life, then left him and was killed in a bombing raid. Dick's own life was a pathetic imitation of his older brother's -- in the merchandising and of a low- grade film business, even to their rivalry over the same woman -- Shelia, who seems hardly worth the effort. In the end, his father dead, his always tenuous bonds with his brother broken, his career unpromising, Dick decides to stick it but with Shella after all. His only reason is his comfort with the familiar and his unwillingness to set off into ""an unexplored country without any maps"". It's a joyless story, but an honest one and it's written in a tone that makes it all too believable.

Pub Date: May 5th, 1961
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman