BLUES FOR A DYING NATION by Gerald Rosen

BLUES FOR A DYING NATION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I don't know. . . . I feel like a German, entering the Auschwitz Museum the one German who really didn't know."" That's Jake talking -- he's the sad, innocent, narrator-writer of this moody-bluesy projection of the scene as it is now or just a little later; he recedes gradually into indifference in the world he never made. He's attached to a hospital at an army base (so was the author) where not too much really happens even though it is bombed at one point midway and even though toward the close there's an Indian uprising. They drink -- they smoke (grass) -- they rap about where it's at and where it's heading. And then there's Cal, a black WAC, to whom he's mightily attracted but she knows that ""power's all there is"" and she's going to be there -- via the post's Colonel. The obverse is art, music, particularly music, but that's all part of an earlier civilization where Jake might not have been so miscast. News clip insets (Agnew, Calley, etc.) point up the protest which might otherwise be muffled in lamentation since somehow Mr. Rosen, for all his good and valid intentions, never quite gets his novel together.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1971
Publisher: Dial