A SHROUD FOR A JOURNEY by Bill Casey

A SHROUD FOR A JOURNEY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A first novel, streaked with savage drives and senseless angers, is mired in a small Southern town- Kilbank- to which Earl Kelly returns in an attempt to learn the truth about his father, Floyd, himself, and perhaps something beyond ""his own particular pigsty"". For while Floyd Kelly had lived in a river shack, drinking and shooting dice with the Negroes whom he also abused, Earl too gets liquored up like his father and is the victim of the crazy streak which now drives him to beating up an old man who may or may not die. As the scenes alternate between the past some thirty years ago to the present- with Earl's attempt to find out whether his father was a killer- it ends with a last show of violence. . . . Caldwell country this, but there's an obsessional rage which gives a certain raw power to the degenerate folkways of the deep delta. The publishers see it as part of our inheritance, liken Earl to Everyman, and confuse the orientation further with an overall comparison to Greek tragedy. This seems doubtful- as does its market.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1960
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin