PAUL AND I DISCOVER AMERICA by Daniel Fader

PAUL AND I DISCOVER AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Frank talks between Fader and his now eleven-year-old son Paul. Daddy, a former pool hustler, boxer, and U.S. undercover agent in Europe, answers Paul's questions but is always pushing him to think and question for himself. ""No other conversations have ever helped me so much to know what I think as my conversations with children. Unlike adults, who are adept at hearing what you want them to hear (often in spite of what you say), children usually hear what you mean rather than what you say you mean."" Fader, whose ring record was six losses-no wins, has to explain that he took six dives for money. When Paul asks about God, Fader's cool rationale for his belief in a universal but not a personal God leads Paul to repeat what he told his friends: ""It's like I told them. We don't believe in God in our family."" Fader is full of sincere advice on following conscience (particularly draft evaders) and promises Paul he'll help him stay out of the army if he decides to do so. (Paul already threatens to wear an American flag on his pants' seat.) Counterpointed throughout are Fader's memories of his own crucial learning experiences: with a friendly English sailor who promises to take him around the world but dies of a stroke; of his hustling days; and of his second son's death after a lingering illness. A little square around the edges but some home truths are faced without taking a dive.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap