THE MAN WHO GAVE HIMSELF AWAY by Gordon Sheppard

THE MAN WHO GAVE HIMSELF AWAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It's a lovely notion that, ultimately, ""Mr. Pomeroy lives on, and for all eternity, because he gave himself away""; but it is one thing for this gentle, gentlemanly wanderer to bequeath his buttonhole to the flowers, his coat to the moths, his kite to the sky, etc., and quite another for him to give his arms to a crippled bear or, on a different tack, an eye to a purportedly color-blind bull. The implication of dismemberment, even of organ transplants, could have been avoided had the author consistently dealt in terms of ""knees. . . to a nearby church, which had few worshippers,"" feet . . . ""to a rabbit . . . for luck""; and it can be avoided in reading aloud by skipping a page. Thereafter, and eloquently deriving from his being, he gives his voice to the wind, ""his dying, irregular, old man's heartbeat"" to the thunder, his heart to the birds -- ""for he had always wanted to fly."" Linked throughout are the sensitively concrete, the figurative, the play-on-words. . . and thus there is little mawkishness in his gift of dreams and hopes to children. As for his memories, ""not completely his to give away,"" these took off ""and latched themselves to his kite."" Just a ghost of his former self, he thinks finally with some surprise that ""dying is so easy if you give as you go."" For once appropriately ineffable as illustrated, this is not, however, uniformly successful; neither will it be universally acceptable. But where it shines, it glows.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Harlin Quist -- dist. by Watts