THE BRIDGE by Dic Cardner


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There is some fascinating engineering detail here. The novel is based on an actual incident. Shortly after the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was opened to traffic late in the `40's, a strong wind changed tremors into huge, shaking twists in the slim, steel beauty stretched over dangerous water. That incident is played out in the book. The original construction and design, the Mohawk high steel crew and their directors, the disaster, the assignment of cause and the consequent research and advances in bridge design are all here and all well done. The bridge is steel, but the characters are cardboard. While nobody could expect the chief engineer and his family to stand back and say, ""That's the way the bridge crumbles"", they are given to dramatic over-reaction to the disaster--especially the fourteen year old hero, Kirk, whose high school friendships are threatened by the his passion in the face of teasing by classmates, aimed at his intense feeling for the bridge whose building his father directed. The jacket says that the author is living in Spain, which may account for the fact that this country's preoccupations with Tom Swifties is ignored for ""Kirk thinks miserably"", his father ""intones grimly"", his mother ""murmurs softly"" and on and on in that fashion for all the dialogue. ""It's six of one and half a dozen of the other"", clucked the reviewer half- heartedly.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1963
Publisher: John Day