MARRIED MEN by Ira Wolfert


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A long distance entry (over and above 1000 pp.) is also something of a test of endurance for the reader in a loone- to disorderly- record of a man of powerful ambitions and aggressive instincts. This is a world of money men he examines, and their wives are the dollar signs through which the self-satisfaction of success and the gratification of prestige can be redeemed. The man on the top is Wes Olmstead, who inherits his grandfather's embattled drives and energies to which his marriage to wealthy Elizabeth Hicking is a barrier- rather than a boost. For Wes wants to meet her on her own upper bracket level- and is exhausting in his self-propelled rise through to the merger of several foundries and metal shops which achieves this end. While Elizabeth too is stubborn and spirited, and their marriage-although passionate, is also antagonistic and takes her out on her own into civic reforms and local politics, and through a vindictive one night affair with a former suitor. But at the close, with Wes' death after a racking brain fever, there is not only the temporal acknowledgement of the powerful structure which bears his name- but also the more lasting imprint which is left on the life of the town which has grown with him, and on Elizabeth who- after a first withdrawal- assumes the position he has left her... A story of big business- and a big man- which is a vast corporate structure in itself- and uses an unrestricted, unrefined masculine vernacular for what is essentially an overlong bull session.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1953
Publisher: Simon & Schuster