THE TORCH BEARERS by Bernard Dryer


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This successor to The Image Makers (1958) is another medicated soap opera about ""the eternal triangle.. Contraception, sterilization, abortion"" and straddling two worlds--New England and Latin America--through a great many gynecological procedures, it's roughly nine months long (600 pages). On the one hand there's Dr. Mayoso Marti, refugee from Castro's Cuba and donating his funds from la operacion he performs to the refugee cause. (And there's a stint in Caracas where he is imported to assist Maoist-Castroite Filho, whose girl is pregnant and dies in a street scrimmage). On the other, there's the prominent New Haven family--the Sommers who deal in contraceptive pharmaceuticals and the irony that Betsy, who has married Witt Sommers, remains childless. Her affair, however, with a medical student who is also something of a stud ends in her pregnancy--her recourse to Mayoso's services--and a notorious criminal abortion trial by the end of which Betsy, ""her constant tantalizing shimmer of sexual snuggle, "" is doomed.... As readily apparent, Dryer's an enthusiastic plotter but no writer; inside the rubber gloves, he's all thumbs.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Simon & Schuster