THE VINTAGE by Anthony West


Email this review


An experimental, transcendental first novel, this follows with rather cloudy intentions the wanderings through time and space of Johnny Wallis, a man of scruple and conscience who had suicided during the war. In eternity, under the guidance of Ransome, an escort, Wallis is shown the choice of worlds in which he may live. And there he meets those with whom he had been involved when alive, precipitating a recall of those relationships. There is von Kenelm, the German war officer he had helped to hang, practical, expedient, selfish, but not as guilty as Wallis had assumed; his first mistress, when he was still a minor; his wife, cold, proud; his son, with whom there had been no common ground; Helen Jacobsen, who was tormented by the habit of prostitution she could not shake off; etc. etc. And finally, from the confusion of a life which held little meaning, there is the escape in death ""out of the sickness of his time, into eternal awareness of the mind of God"". A projection of values, intangibles, metaphysical conjecture, this is a shadowy one in which there is very little interest for the man involved. A Houghton Mifflin Fellowship Award.

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 1949
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin