THE NATIVE MOMENT by Anthony C. West

THE NATIVE MOMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

River's End and Other Stories (1958) introduced an uninhibited and gifted young Irish writer to American readers. The Native Moment, his first novel, is a Lost Weekend sired by Ulysses out of Lady Chatterley -- and it is not for the thin- skinned. A day and a night in Dublin -- with the venal, squalid city as background, and pubs and bars and sordid rooming houses and harlot's quarters offering small escape from the teeming life of the city- as Simon, newly returned from America, tries to come to terms with the knowledge that Tamar, whom he had thought to wed, was pregnant by any one of a number of men who had had her. There is anger and bitterness, jealousy and hate, pity and resignation -- but never is the city right for Simon whose philosophy and native wisdom bind him to the country he loves. At moments it is a repellent story in its raw sex and scatalogical minutiae; at times it rises above this in a lavishness of response to beauty, rejection of ugliness. And there is one memorable and unforgettable episode between Simon and Lena, a woman of the streets. But for the most part one senses, regretfully, the waste of a rare talent in an orgy of sensationalism- and in alternating outpourings of Gaelic meanderings. West has yet to come to terms with his genius.

Pub Date: Nov. 29th, 1959
Publisher: McDowell, Obolensky