THE DESCENT by Fritz Peters


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Using a pattern and technique not unlike that George Stewart used so successfully in Storm. Fritz Peters dissects and then puts together again the story of a frightful catastrophe, on the highway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. There's an occasional flash of brilliance in the writing, of vividness in the pen portraiture, as he impels the reader to the point of disaster along the road each car and its occupants have taken. There is variety here in personnel -- but an odd succession of parallels as each person seems to be running away from something unsatisfying in the background to something disastrous ahead. Unhappy, frustrated people, most of them; one at least a mental hazard to humanity, others escaping unhappiness in marriage, in human relations, in the job. Possibly the end result- skillful as it is technically, leaves the reader dissatisfied because there is no one of the people about whom one can care what happens. Not one couple, happily married, enjoying life. None who- like the telephone linesman in Storm- or the couple going across the state line to a happy goal- might conceivably be a loss. A morbid sort of tale, leaving an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1952
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Young