THE SEVENTH WIFE by Andrei Moscovit


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 This novel is ambitious only in length, as Moscovit (The Judgment Day Archives, not reviewed) fails to deliver much in the way of character, compelling storylines, or a real reason to keep reading. It follows the wanderings and travails of Anton, an angst-ridden man who has been around the marriage-and-family block a few too many times. As he reminisces about his many exes and tries to reconstruct some sense of who he has been in his life, he works toward something of a resolution with his restless heart. His many children, for whom he has been at best an absent father, are for him a great unresolved collection of relationships that could have been or legacies that have not worked out. For most of the story, Anton is caught up in a quest for something beyond self-pity and a ruinous lifestyle. To him, his former spouses and children are mostly nameless, with ``Wife #1'' and ``Daughter #2.1'' their usual appellations. His characterizations of them, unfortunately, aren't much deeper than these assembly-line names. The only respites from the droning story are Anton's radio commentaries and journal entries, in which he shows a more compelling presence in the world. When Moscovit mercifully puts his protagonist, after 300 pages, in a place where characters have real names and personalities, the story has become too mired in its own one- dimensionality to get moving. The final resolution, in which a wife, children, and wealth unexpectedly come Anton's way, seems like a watered-down reversal of Crime and Punishment rather than a moment that Moscovit truly earns. Fewer wives, fewer children, fewer endless wanderings and, most of all, fewer pages, might have allowed this sometimes interesting author a real chance to shine.

Pub Date: May 5th, 1994
ISBN: 1-880909-16-2
Page count: 466pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1994