TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN by Irwin Shaw

TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This great sprawling novel might well have served as the cause celebre that inspired Marcia Davenport's strictures on American's shallowness, lack of stability, of standards, in The Constant Image. The two weeks of the title could not provide a sharper contrast to the subtle good manners of Harriet's Milan winter.... For here is John Andrus, solidly entrenched in a NATO job in Paris, with a French wife and two young children -- pulled out of his rut by the plea of his one-time producer in Hollywood, Delaney, to come to his rescue for just two weeks in Rome. And then the arrival- the drunk on the hotel steps, the emotion of seeing himself in a picture revival, the knowledge that his job was to sub in his voice for a young and drunken actor who couldn't speak clearly, his dreams of death- and the fulfillment, the violent flare up of unexpected passion with the light-o'-love Italian, Veronica, and the attack on him by her lover, the crazy, gifted Bresach, Veronica's disappearance- and Bresach his responsibility. Then Delaney's illness- the chance to remake the picture Delaney was ruining- Holt, the oil magnate, and his dream of being the man behind the pictures, Bresach's chance with his gift recognized- and all this smashed by Clara, Delaney's fanatically possessive and jealous termagent of a wife. And at the end -- all passion spent-John Andrus turning back to his job, his home, his wife and children in Paris,- a bit drained, disillusioned, indifferent to another chance lost, sated -- but again promising- this time Bresach- to be on call when needed. It is a lusty, obsessive, bitter and driving book- not easily forgotten. Another phase for Irwin Shaw- not his best, but again vibrant with life.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1959
Publisher: Random House