SECOND ENDING by Evan Hunter


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On the heels of The Blackboard Jungle and another lesson in the same school of fiction, this again localizes a problem, spells it out in the vernacular.... A last week of examinations in a New York City college finds Bud Donato the unwilling host and nursemaid to Andy Silvera, a talented trumpet player whom he had started in a band before the war, and now an addict who hopes to have kicked the habit. And as Andy, trying to ride it out- and failing, involves him in a wild chase when he gets out, pawns Bud's suitcase to scare up a fix, and is brought back- the past is filled in; Bud's love for Helen, which he'd evaded a first time because of Andy; a second time- after the war- when he'd left her to face an abortion alone. But when Andy finds his final escape, Bud too is left with a monkey on his back- the responsibility he had always shunted is still there and for the first time he is man enough to meet it.... A dossier on the disintegration phenomenon of addiction and the clawing torment of those who have been hooked- not so much by a drug but by the desire to escape a world in which they have failed- this is strong stuff. And if there will be some to question its didactic, or even prophylactic, method, there will be others to respond to the stimulants of sex and shock.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster