TWO WAY TRAFFIC by Joel Lieber


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One reads this with the literal discomfiture generated by Sylvia Plath's The Glass Bell -- as the late Joel Lieber who appears here as Jesse says -- ""I am watching a movie of my own life disappearing."" And recording it with once live referrals (his novels, etc.) everywhere and particularly evident in the New York hospital where he at first spends a time after a failed suicide. He's depressed and disintegrating, but so is his wife Paula who has abandoned him while turning to drugs and macrobiotic foods and neglecting the children. Jesse at first has his two shrinks and his writing; he also has, or rather tries to avoid, his parents whom he berates and boycotts -- their ""meetings a series of Munichs""; and then there are Barbara and Michele and Susan and Sally and Karen and. . .since in this two way traffic between life and death he's on a continuous high both drug-induced and priapic as he keeps going down and down and down. . . This is a sad extension of those earlier quixotic and prophetic novels but Lieber's last book is also his strongest showing up everywhere a ravelled urgency and a frenetically slackening lien on reality.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 1971
Publisher: Doubleday