GET HOME FREE by John Clellon Holmes
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Before the Fifties were as fat and foolish as they would eventually become""... Dan Verger and May Delano shared a N.Y. apartment, a bed and a mutual disorientation. They both held determinedly non-career jobs during the day and conducted a lackluster search in a disorganized night world for some meaning for themselves in society. Through the gin and stale tobacco smoke mist that surrounded their unsatisfying bed they sought to go as far out as they possibly could and still ""get home free"". When the eventual split came, Verger goes home to his eastern Connecticut shore town to prepare for his European trip. Under the spell of the town drunk, he watches a projection of what he could become-- a man who dared much, broke all the rules but gained nothing in not daring enough, losing it all in words. (Old Man Molyneux is the most powerful drunk to be seen in print since Wolfe's Father Gant roistered and mourned his lot in Homeward Angel.) May Delano returns to her small town in Louisiana. She spends evening and a night of chaotic sex, liquor and drugs in a derelict, Southern gingerbread house. The conflict of white seeking out black for primitive truth and black teaching white with bitterness is her thoughtful hangover. Verger and May meet again in New York on his return from Europe. They've both been jolted onto a ivable track-- and so to bed, to acknowledge the futility of orgasm-- the '50's gift to literature. Uneven, but there are peaks of powerful writing, to attract the admirers of Go and The Horn.

Pub Date: April 8th, 1964
Publisher: utton