THE HOURGLASS by David Alman


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This is a Venture Press book -- a disappointing selection. Alman has a certain flare, but as one gets into his book, it falls on two strikes against it:- first, what he has to say will succeed in antagonizing most people who have the interests of a democratic South at heart; second, he is too readily satisfied with typing his characters, his backgrounds, his situations, rather than giving them fullness and depth. His publishers claim several years of closeup study of the South -- concern in just such situations as he depicts in his book. Well, there will be many who question the validity of either that knowledge or that concern, for he gives us as ""hero"" one of three rapscallions who rape and beat up a Negro woman, burn her house, take it out further on interfering Northerners who become interested in the case, spike the trial in advance -- and at the eleventh hour, our Brian admits the deed of shame -- and gets off, virtually unscathed, to take his college-bred Lottie to another town where they'll be more appreciated. At no time does the town- somewhere in the Deep South- come alive, nor the people seem more than stock characters. Occasional fine writing cannot save it.

Pub Date: May 9th, 1947
Publisher: Simon & Schuster