THE BURNING GLASS by John Bardin

THE BURNING GLASS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first novel which reflects, with a certain distortion, a rather unhappy unwholesome summer colony of artists and avant -gardists as they are ridden by their irritations and their uneasy emotions of fear and guilt, as their intellectual emancipation leads them to the margin of instability. There is Mark, a geneticist, in love with his wife Ruth who writes very abstract poetry, is equally abstract about her household, and who leaves him occasionally susceptible to the attractions of Alicia; there is Winston, Alicia's husband, who has carried out his notions of the liberated impulse and spontaneous sexuality with a series of women; Howard De Venter who with his niece lives in a world of pretence; Mrs. Smithers, the head of a pioneering progressive school and her charges who are out of hand; and Roger, Winston and Alicia's oldest son, disgusted by the rutting of his father, who provokes a chain of incidents which start with perversion and end in violence... The thin edge of the psychotic, this is a not incredible rendering of some lives whose confusion is a distraught one- and not often appealing.

Pub Date: July 17th, 1950
Publisher: Scribner