SUMMERTIME ENDS by John Hargraves


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Quite honestly, I cannot imagine anyone struggling through the form of this novel, who didn't have to read it for professional reasons (or curiosity), Consequently, I fear I am prejudiced against it -- and not able to get past the, to: me, absurdly artificial barrier of omitted punctuation, small letters at openings of paragraphs, almost free verse set-up, quick flash, staccato style, lack of transitions, lack of form (or too much form, perhaps). Staggeringly long -- and, once compassed, what's it all about? A cross section of rural England -- a girl and her lover in the bracken, both on the dole; an old nobleman and his beautiful young wife, who seeks her pleasures elsewhere; a self-made man, war profiteer, newly knighted, and his family; a clergyman who is a virgin; a doctor who is not; and various friends and relatives and backstops. Composite picture of disillusionment, artificiality, winding up with everyone, more or less, caught on a common basis by a flood. The conversation -- on all planes -- is deliberately shallow and obvious. The plot is really a collection of situations and quick bits of characterization. It may get some sort of press on its novelty. A doubtful tribute.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1935
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill