IME OF FORTUNE by Benjamin Appel


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An eleven-year-old Polish Jew and a young German-American off to the Klondike in 1897 set out on jagged paths of destiny an ocean apart in this agitated period piece of the ""raw chunks of poetic prose"" school. As in his other two novels, the author utilizes violence, but here the characters are all but dissolved in atmosphere and the supra-masculine style. Johnny Hauser, a modest New York clerk, loses his innocence, a rugged likeable partner, and some of his dreams in the incredible hardships of the Klondike. Returning with money he marries Alice Fenton, although suffering with the knowledge that she had been taken advantage of by a mature man at the age of fourteen. Johnny, about to pursue his orderly, efficient existence, becomes the employer of Eleazar Menhota, or Louie, who came to him via desperate chances in Poland: Old World hardships, an international Workers' movement, a marriage; a journey to Nebraska to work on a cooperative farm managed by old Walt Merritt, and the tragic loss of the first child. Soon Louie as well as Johnny begins to slip into the mainstream. His son fights the necessary block fights; Louis holds a respectable job, and although arriving in 1905 to support the Revolution, becomes a Wilsonian Democrat marching off to war. Louie's troopship steams out of the harbor while Johnny watches with his little daughter and wonders where the dreams of the Klondike have gone. Rough, romantic, unbuttoned sentiment.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1963
Publisher: Morrow