BIRTH OF A HERO by Herb Gold

BIRTH OF A HERO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Herb Gold, whose stories have appeared in Harper's Bazaar, The Hudson Review, and the French magazine, has written a novel not unlike William The , and Henry Morton Robinson's The Great Show. All three are concerned with middle-aged men who have extra-marital relations, whose ""boundaries are changing"", and who want to prove themselves physically and philosophically. Reuben Flair's middle-aged trauma begins on the night of his forty-fifth birthday while he is surrounded by his family at the dinner table. He decides to become a hero, cuts his finger on the birthday cake knife, meets their next door neighbor Lydia Fortiner- and the next morning after taking a walk, starts an affair with her. Mr. Flair's suburbia becomes a turbulent stamping ground as he sets out to look for himself, and the quest for his soul becomes even more Joycean with the return of Lydia's husband, home from either the sea or the womb- it's hard to tell which. Larry Fortiner is very earthy- really Mother and Father Earth; Mr. Flair's moral growth is fed by his wife, Lydia, and his son, and he finally is able to oust his former restricted life. Although several sequences hang heavy, this is spasmodically brilliant, experimental, interesting.

Publisher: Viking