THE MAGIC OF THEIR SINGING by Bernard Wolfe

THE MAGIC OF THEIR SINGING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bernard Wolfe is the author of The Late Risers, Limbo and The Great Prince Died. In tone, if not in theme this novel is probably closest to the 1954 Late Risers which was a walk on Broadway's wild side. The Magic of Their Singing is an ironic comment on some of the more bizarre manifestations of the contemporary scene and its spectrum ranges from the way in to the out, from an intercollegiate boat race in connecticut to a hip pad south of Washington Square. The characters include Hoyt Fairliss, a student of international affairs, specializing in what he calls Mi Eathtern . Worthington Rivers a caricature of a distinctly U-type; Penelope Gissings, a Bennington girl (always fair game) dedicated to the dance and Reichian sexology; Marga, a beat dancer and shoplifter; Shoshana Gasharid from Israel, a Jewess masquerading as a Jewess; and other denizens of the subterranean and beat world. Hoyt who is nearest to being the hero of the book eventually rejects most of the conformity of the non-conformist world, feels more affinity for the Community than for the Hangout, and finds that he has more in common with Shoshana (in spite of his mockery of what stands for foreign policy) than with the unfortunate Penelope. Bernard Wolfe's prose is unquestionably energetic and one can only admire his exuberance but in spite of his facetious intentions, the excursion is cheerless if not debilitating.

Pub Date: April 13th, 1961
Publisher: Scribner