PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION by D.M. Thomas

PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Thomas (The White Hotel, 1981, etc.) is an expert recycler, doing his best to keep the literary environment clean of any especially fresh idea or slant. In his last matters-grave- and-ultimate-style, he ``probed'' the Kennedy assassination (Flying Into Love, 1992), and now he does the Holocaust: the crimes of a prison-camp doctor and the ripples of guilt, responsibility, and nightmare that circle outward after the grisly time. In Auschwitz, Dr. Lorenz assists Mengele, while a Czech inmate in turn assists him--even to the degree of listening sympathetically to the doctor's demons erupting. The inmate survives to become a London shrink and to garner a practice of patients and disciples who, both consciously and not, recapitulate the moral evasions and pains of his experience. Another writer, with less of a need to throw down a cheap buffet of sex-scandal, horror, dream, and highbrow culture-- Thomas's four apocalyptic horsemen--might have made something of this, but Thomas doesn't: it's a confusing mash, too impatient to play out a thread and watch it become part of a fabric, full of fake exits and entrances, characters that are little more than tossed-together names, and liberal scrapings from others' documentary works. Skip it.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-684-19586-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1993




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