Email this review


A first novel, this is a young Texan's account of his freshman year at a small college in Pennsylvania. Redwine Walker, arriving from his rich father's ranch in a red T-Bird, is a maverick, neither a serious student nor a playboy, though he has affinities with both types. Old Liberty is the college's ancient and monstrous dormitory, stratified according to the boys' status and inclinations, and according to Redwine the dorm is the most significant fact about Liberty College. Redwine recalls the highlights of that year -- the courses he became interested in (creative writing); his soul-searching about his father's fraternity; the parties; his vacation trips to Cincinnati and Mexico; his involvements with the town girls; and the friends he made. His account is climaxed at the Spring Dance to which he brought the town where and which culminated in a disastrous fire burning Old Liberty to the ground and killing his best friend. Redwine ends up much sadder but considerably more committed. The book is reminiscent in attitude and style of both Kerouac and Salinger but it is never anything more than imitative.

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1961
Publisher: Viking