THE LAST KNIFE by Annabel & Edgar Johnson


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History sliced and served forth. . . to fill resentful Rick with appreciation of older brother Howard's absolute pacifism. Rick had berated Howard on his return from prison; now he seeks him out in the Indian ruins that once housed a like-thinking commune; and there he becomes a captive audience for an old Indian, Chief, a black, a Chicano, a Harvard Law WASP, and a biker -- each of whom imparts an ancestral tale of fighting forsworn: Good-skunk doubts the vengeful traditions of his tribe; Rue Beckwourth, son of mountain man Jim, learns there's no freedom without dignity; revolution and contrarevolucion appear equally futile to Bent without justice; etc. In each episode, too, there's a knife -- until at the close Rick dreams of a final holocaust and the last knife thrust in the earth like a crucifix. So contrived is this whole rigamarole, and so crudely polemical, that the occasional moment of truth is falsified. And, man, what's said in the present will be yesterday's jive tomorrow.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1971
Publisher: Simon & Schuster