STAY AWAY, JOE by Dan Cushman
Kirkus Star


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A bluff, blowsy and high-humored account of some sequences in the lives of a French Canadian-American Indian family living- precariously- off the land in Montana. It is Gran'pere, an unregenerate 105, who still remembers better times ""before Ford skunkwagon, before Philco devilbox"", while Louis Champlain, his son, and Big Joe, his grandson, carry on shiftlessly to a riotous ruin. From the time when Louis gets 19 cows from Congress, as a test of their cattle-raising possibilities, this follows the disintegration of the hard as their only bull is eaten- in error, a few cows are lost, and four more are given in security for an old bull who ignores the young heifers. Big Joe, who wastes his money in beer and his time with women, carries on a running interference in his sister Mary's love life. But her plans to marry Loren, and the visit from her future mother-in-law, see the end of the cows as they are sold to buy a toilet which they cannot install, a blonde dining room suite, and a respectability which is unfulfilled....Some lusty caterwauling- in a wonderful idiom- gives this its moments of high to broad comedy as well as a native vitality.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1952
Publisher: Viking