VANGEL GRIFFIN by Herbert Lobsenz


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Vangel Griffin was an American -- twenty nine -- a ""mass-produced member of the middle middle-class"" -- and fed up with life. But before committing suicide he decided to take a year off in Spain, a sort of postponed G I Bill education -- and an escape from all the ""right"" things he found himself involved in :- a right marriage, a right law firm connection, etc. This is the story of that year -- and this reader (feminine gender) found it depressing, futile and dull. Yes, dull despite the pyrotechnical displays which accented it, as Vangel came out of himself with an explosion set off by a strange pair whom he encountered by chance. There was Alonzo-half mad modern Quixote, tilting at hopeless windmills in his endeavor to perfect a world gone awry. And there was his sister Satry (shift the spelling around and you'll get the idea). Satry was many things to many men, and bitch as he knew her to be, Vangel couldn't escape her net. It was a despairing progress through an aura of insanity and it ended in violence and destruction and sent Vangel home, unconvinced that return to his own web would prove the answer to anything, but convinced he would have to do it -- and pass up the temptation to write finis to his own life.... Imaginative as a concept, unevenly brilliant in execution, but overladen with endless searchings of the soul in which the author injects his own reactions into several of his unbelievable characters- and sets the whole against the contradictions of modern Spain. Choice as the Harper Prize Novel may get it off to a start.

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 1960
Publisher: Harper