THE FABULOUS TRAIN by Frederic Wakeman


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Frederic Wakeman, whose Hucksters, Saxon Charm etc. all had a metropolitan manner, takes a rural route to Carbon City, Kansas, and in the sluggish atmosphere of a small town- during the depression- spends the summer with Hal Sample, just out of college. Hal, a bright boy, trying to sell cars on commission, and looking for a Job which will enable him to support Rhoda whom he has married secretly, still looks back with regret on the ""fabulous train"" (a childhood dream) which will take him places And the reality is there, in the offer of a fellowship at Princeton for graduate study- which he now feels he must refuse. The days laze along- as Rhoda doesn't write; as his first new car sales is flubbed; as he gets a Job offer from a neon sign company- and another from the Communist Party- back in Kansas University. Finally the knowledge that he has contracted a venereal disease (for which only Rhoda can be blamed) settles his doubts- while raising others; he heads on to Omaha to settle his obligation to Rhoda, and then heads on to Princeton.... Small town life, from the front porch to the poolroom to the shanties down by the tracks, has a definitely ribald realism here- and Hal is a likeable enough young man in search of a future- but it may take more to carry this out of the cornbelt

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1955
Publisher: Rinehart