RIVER SONG by Harry Hamilton


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Two thirds of this book were worth reading and struck a new note; the last third is so incredibly bad that it spoils the whole with a melodramatic finale that pulls all the stops...a group of river folk have moved their flatboats up on an island, and made houses of them -- all but Ole Man Newt, his daughter-in-law, Pearl, and her sons, Stag Holley and his stay-at-home brother, Lon. Stag is a ""ramblin' river man"" and Lon writes a song about him -- and on this song, claimed as his own, Stag rides to fame and fortune on the air waves -- and, when his girl finds out what he has done, to disgrace, brought on himself by his impulsive public disclaimer. The part of the story about the life on the island, about the incredible Garners, and Pearl's machinations to persuade her father-in-law to desert the river -- all this is fun, and reminiscent of Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (in case you saw it). But the pipe dream tale of rise to fame in radio -- and the sensational derivative writing in the river flood wind-up make it -- in final analysis -- pretty second rate.

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill