THE COST OF LIVING LIKE THIS by James Kennaway

THE COST OF LIVING LIKE THIS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In all if somewhat unwilling honesty, one must admit that there are several things wrong with this novel since Mr. Kennaway is a very good writer and gets you where you live, or in this case, die. Disposing of the frailties--there's more than a suspicion of a tremulous romanticism behind that stiff upper lip; the earlier discipline of Tunes of Glory and those paths which lead but to the ... has yielded to a kind of narrative disarray (true also of his last book, Some Gorgeous Accident); and finally it's hard to believe that during the course of the action here while one character dies, two of the only three others commit or attempt to commit suicide. So you have it--Julian who hasn't much longer to go (cancer relentlessly clawing away at his gut) and keeping himself going on pills and liquor and the sexual renewal of life via Sally, a pretty but common little kid. Although Christabel, his wife, doesn't give up that easily either--following them both to Glasgow, confiding all to one Mozart who's a referee by profession and an intercessor in all this, and finally in on the joint death watch during which Sally finds she hasn't even ""half a vote."" You'll like Julian (and Sally and Christabel) with his sort of tenacious defiance of the inadmissible, the irreversible: he's a loser playing a gallant ""goodbye game"" who somehow manages to diminish death and engage the reader ineluctably. So does the book.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1969
Publisher: Atheneum