SCRATCH THE SURFACE by Edmund Schiddel


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Another candidate for the O'Hara school, Appointment in Samarra genre. It has many of the same strengths, many of the same weaknesses. Let's keep fingers crossed and see if Mr. Schiddel can grow up a bit faster than has John O'Hara. Meantime, this is New York in the '30's, that very special angle on a New York that is none too pleasant to the nostrils. A triangle story, with no reservations, and no salutes to good taste. The situations are a bit off the beaten track; the three main characters, -- Joel, well born and gently reared, out of a job and resenting his dependence on his wife; Persis, a bit cheap with a convincing camouflage, who uses what she has to make what she can; O'Connor, friend of both and in love with Persis, out of the dregs of the Mid West,a success in radio. The story shifts from bars to night-clubs to bedchambers to flashy offices -- all superficial but vivid. The characters seem, for the most part, lay figures, and the dialogue, while it has a certain amount of sparkle, is not quite real. Sorry -- can't see the publisher's enthusiasm justified.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1939
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace