WELCOME TO THEBES by Glendon Swarthout


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The catchy title and quasi-intellectual style fail to life this book much above the cliche situation of sex in a small town, projected with one eye on Hollywood. This is a market Swarthout has already clinched with two earlier novels, They Came to Cordura and Where the Boys Are. It also has a universal theme-- man's search for a father. In this case the man is 33 year old Sewell Smith who returns to the place of his birth, Thebes, Michigan, after an absence of fifteen years. He had left Thebes at 18 in anger and bewilderment after his mother's confinement in a mental hospital and his father's death under mysterious circumstances. During this interval Sewell has become a war hero and a famous writer but he has not been able to come to terms with his past. Now a lack of money and a need for some fresh ideas impel his return. When he becomes aware of some scandalous behaviour by the first families of Thebes involving a 14 year old girl, he seizes the opportunity to satisfy his own ends as well as revenge himself against the town. In the process, he achieves self-knowledge and a good deal of sensational, sordid and well suppressed past history is exposed... A novel full of sound and fury which may also possibly signify success in terms of popular readership.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1962
Publisher: Random House