DIFFERENT DRUMS: How a Father and Son Overcame the Generation Gap with Love and Understanding by Charles Merrill & Terrence Lore Smith

DIFFERENT DRUMS: How a Father and Son Overcame the Generation Gap with Love and Understanding

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One would expect that a transgenerational seminar in father-son relations featuring the authors Smith would hum along with wit and style--father C.M., a retired Methodist minister, has been responsible for some sinfully funny and potent assualts on the Church Institutional; son T.L. is the author of The Thief That Came To Dinner and other well-shaped amusements. However, this is a stilted account of a gap which has been viewed from every possible angle. After all, who worries about long hair or strident antimaterialism these days when everyone's trying to get into plastics and trying to pay escalating grocery bills. Terrence, now married, father of several children, and a successful author, was generally miserable during the '60s. He managed to get through eight semesters of college over nine years, twenty or so jobs, a failed marriage, an unhappy stretch in the Navy and some hitchhiking. He was sloppy and wore long hair. Charles (who seems much more honest and less self-righteous than his son) reviews his own attempts to cope in the light of how his father coped with him and anticipates questions the reader will probably ask: what if--T.L. didn't make it as a writer, took drugs, became a homosexual, married outside of his race? His answers hinge on what the two agree on: love, respect and trust between parents and children are essential. A good gospel--even if after the outdated fact.

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 1975
Publisher: Saturday Review/Dutton