WARD N-1 by John White
Kirkus Star


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Five days in the Bellevue drying-out ward provide a long education for a former newsman, TV script writer who headed for Skid Row when offered the big chance. As he lives through the weird hell of the ward, rescued from ""the Reptile Room"" by the clique in the know from many incarcerations, terrified by the possibility of being committed as a psycho, regarding himself and the men around him, he retraces his own steps to this place and realigns his values. Tom, expublic relations man in for the thirty-ninth time; Bomber, wartime pilot and later an actor on the way up; Marty, the sadist who pushes a crazed DP to violence; the Creep, an alcoholic psychopath and felon whom the men plan to keep inside for good; Minny, one time Bowery drinking companion, philosophic cog in the panhandling syndicate who dies in convulsion before White's eyes -- these are some of the men. There is Sue who will help him to straighten out. White's own physical and psychic torture communicate in this briefing on bediam and sad insight to the waste of fine human material... He walks out and away through the help of the men he leaves behind. Immersing drama.

Publisher: A. A. Wyn