A HERO FOR REGIS by Jack Hoffenburg


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A plot-throbbing Southern novel, A Hero for Regis is an overstuffed war-soap-lynch-opera that studies its leads with an eye for tragedy and laundromats. Squeeze the heroine and she drips white bubbles. Jab the hero and he says: ""Shucks, you must be funnin'"" Private Luther Dorman, wounded in WWII, finds himself flying home to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor from Harry Truman. Dorman's irony: not only did he not knock out the machine gun nest accredited to him, but also he ineptly shot his best friends. On top of this, the medal is awarded him through falsifications and the utter cynicism of his superiors. When white trash Luther returns to Regis, and Redford Hall, the great estate he grew up on, he comes as a national hero, takes contemptuous advantage of his status and even marries Miss Bethann Redford. Miss Bethann has had a checkered career but is a victim of her tyrannical daddy. Luther parlays them into giving him $25,000 to divorce Bethann (he plans to steal $195,000 the father has hidden behind a mantlepiece). Meanwhile he helps four Negroes murder a loathsome white cop, then himself murders another man. Nemesis, or the mother of the friend he shot in Germany, cuts down Luther with a double-barrelled shotgun just as his schemes reach bloom. This resume gives no hint of the loping complexity of the tale. Backgrounds A (Southern politics, police graft, WWII Germany) are handled tritely and foreground figures are not worth two minutes' conversation. There is not one artistic surprise in the .

Pub Date: July 31st, 1963
Publisher: Dutton