THE SECRET SWINGER by Alan Harrington

THE SECRET SWINGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I always seem to be behind a window."" This is George Pectin, and when first seen through a glass, almost too clearly, he seems to be one of Cheever's chafed spirits, hung up in the middle distance of life. He's 43; he writes functional pieces for Forecast, a magazine representing enlightened conservatism; his wife is in a sanitarium with a collapsed lung; their only child, who doesn't remember him, is with his sister down south. George muses, in Shannon's bar, the ""atheist's church""; he remembers wistfully and dreams wishfully; he pursues Gretchen, a fleshy bitch, who grossly humiliates him: he travels on trains- to his grandmother's funeral; on planes-- to secure a divorce: he goes to a ""farm"" where a psychiatrist resists his attempt to beat age and death. All of this is so softly shaded that it will hardly prepare you for the saturnalia at the close in the depths of the Village. But from its disconsolate beginning to its dreadful end, you will have been trapped in a contemporary charade which comes off, largely because Harrington is a writer of manifest talent. This was generally agreed on in his earlier novel, the satiric The Revelations of Dr. Modesto and his organizational man study, Life in the Crystal Palace, and there are suggestions of both books in this one.

Publisher: Knopf