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Anton Myrer may sweep into the popular current with a dialogue-deluged, overlong novel set just prior to, and during World War II, centering about an extremely neurotic, witty and beautiful young woman, Sally Marcheson, whose compulsive behavior moulds the lives of several others. Sally's ""problem"" seems to stem from her relationship with her adored father, (an invalid as the result of a tragic accident) who was at one time a famous Arctic explorer. Having left Bennington College (because it was too ""stuffy"") for the Dramatic Arts Workshop in New York, Sally meets Byron Cantwell, a young writer recently returned from a three-year assignment in Europe. Their compelling love and marriage quickly deteriorate into a violent and disturbing relationship, and by the end of Part One of the novel. Byron's byline has become, ""I am impotent, as was my father before me"". Part Two deals with Sally's subsequent marriage to Pete, an Air Force Lieutenant in Florida -- Sally's ""sun-god college hero"", but she eventually accuses Pete also of being inadequate and irives him to his death in a crash landing. We rejoin Byron in Part Three as an American soldier in Florence, where he begins to recover the fragments of himself, but not without another horrifying entrance by Sally. Mr. Myrer develops his story on several levels -- Sally's character and behavior are underscored by political situations in the world scene, and as she crupts so do they. In addition, Mr. Myrer uses a Freudian or analytic device stylistically, by inserting periodically chapters recalling Sally's childhood traumas which help to expand and explain her character. A rather tortuous way of trying to say something which doesn't ever really come off.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1962
Publisher: Little, Brown