STORM-BLIND by James Sorel-Cameron


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 An epic novel that traces the lives of three generations of an English family as Sorel-Cameron (Mag, 1990) slowly transforms his writing style to match the times depicted. Lionel Drewer is a captain in the British Army at the book's start. He falls in love with the wealthy Anna Brand; their love is strained at first because of the demands of the soldier's life. However, physical and psychological intimacy drive them to marry, and soon they have a son, Lewis. After fighting in WW I, Lionel suffers a nervous breakdown, which distances him from his son. Lewis will squirm through adolescence to marry Celia Bratley, the daughter of a moderately wealthy factory owner. Sex gradually blots out the love in their relationship, while, conversely, love has come to dwarf sex in the marriage of Lionel and Anna. Lewis and Celia have a son named Henry, who matures during the '60s and marries Bel, a black drifter addicted to sex, drugs, and personal freedoms. The middle-class suburban Henry's struggle to maintain a relationship with Bel characterizes the slide towards despair that dominates the plot of this book. Readers will gradually realize that only love can blind these characters to the world's storm of pleasure and misery. The author, after all, swirls visions of war together with countless erotic passages--which become deathlike when lovers' orgasms make them feel empty and spent. The work's stylistic leaps, however, obscure its mordant tone. By the book's end, his characters' dialogue has traveled from stiff, 19th-century politeness to the attitude-laced speech of the '60s; likewise, his writing style has changed from flowery prose to a mixture of surrealism, stream-of-consciousness, and realism. Its scope and display of novelistic ability make Storm-Blind a considerable accomplishment.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1994
ISBN: 1-85619-185-0
Page count: 488pp
Publisher: Sinclair-Stevenson/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1994