THE ROLLICKING SHORE by E. R. Karr

THE ROLLICKING SHORE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a frivolous account of a boy's summer misadventures, from his fourteenth to his eighteenth year, most of which turn out to be of a sexual nature. To the scandal of their Italian neighbors Allie's parents left him, on weekdays, to his own devices in Vino's summer camp on Lake Eric. Allie who is basically an innocent is no match for his more worldly-wise playmates. Under the impression that a sporting house would sell sporting goods Allie is panicked by the reality of Big Ann's waterfront establishment, takes a spectacular dive from an upper window and assures his everlasting fame in Vino. He is seduced by his uncle's fiancee; is involved in a blasphemous bogus crucifixion and is shot by a defender of the faith; and he, in turn, assists in the wholesale seduction of the Sons of Davy Crockett by Big Ann's girls. But none of these incidents, of which the book is composed, produces any disastrous results in Annie's psyche, with one possible exception. By the time Allie is eighteen and much enamored of Houseman he falls under the influence of a young man whom Vino had called the Little Flower for his gifts of intellect and vitality. This perverse young man, now dying of cancer, arranges a grotesque funeral in mockery and rejection of the people of Vino and his childhood faith. Allie considers the Little Flower his most unforgettable character. A book which might have been thoroughly entertaining but for its more ponderous aspects getting out of hand.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1960
Publisher: McDowell, Obolensky