THE DREAM WATCHER by Barbara Wersba


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There's this kid, Albert Scully, who lives in a housing development in New Jersey with a father he sees as Willy Loman and a mother he holds responsible and a lot of broken down, not paid up appliances. It's the All-American Nightmare. . . and he's the Perfect Failure (""my trouble was simply being a total failure"")-lousy in school, no friends, odd tastes, odd interests. Well, what happens (the only thing that happens) is that he meets this little old lady who lives in a dilapidated house smack in the middle of the development and they talk and they talk and she tells him about her fame as an actress in Europe and her brother who became a Zen Buddhist monk and her poet husband who died of consumption. . . and then she dies-destitute and divested of her legend. It might be the ultimate betrayal but he still has ""what was good and beautiful"" and all the quotes from Thoreau and Shaw and Rilke and the rest of Bartlett's. And from Mrs. Woodfin herself: ""All you are saying is that you are different. . . . Have you ever thought of being yourself?"" The whole Scene, from the East Village to a pregnant schoolgirl to the Vietnam War in a long semi-literate soliloquy with no real maturity and no new message.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1968
ISBN: 193242508X
Publisher: Atheneum