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To all who felt that From Here to Eternity, with all its crudities, nonetheless showed promise in a newcomer, Some Came Running, will be a sharp disappointment. To those who felt it was overpraised, overwritten, nihilistic in its philosophy, this second book is more -- much more -- of the same. To this reader, who felt that the disputed Peyton Place had moments of good writing and an overall pace of good story telling, marred by dependence on sexual excesses and overloaded with the seven deadly sins concentrated in one New England town -- Some Came Running makes Peyton Place a Sunday School story. The seven deadly sins are magnified, distorted, perverted and multiplied -- and presented with extremes of vulgarity, laced with four letter words. It has nothing -- repeat nothing -- to recommend it. The story, if one can extract any story from it, begins with a returned veteran, back in his home town, determined to take revenge on his brother, and show up the town and its inhabitants. He links his fortunes with a group of drifters, male and female -- not a credible person in the lot. He is attracted to a young woman, whose chief shame is that she is still a virgin -- and can't seem to take the hurdle. But his goal is to sleep with her, not to marry her. When he fails -- he marries the town whore. The two reasonably normal and likable people in the whole cast of characters turn out to be obsessed by pornographic pictures! In fact pornography and depraved forms of sexual expression obsess everyone, including -- quite obviously -- the author. It is a distasteful and unrelievedly boring orgy in the manure pile. And it is so badly written that at no moment in its ghastly length does Jones hold out hope that he is likely to write another creditable book.
Pub Date: June 15th, 1957
ISBN: 0440182611
Page count: 1195pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1957


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