WHAT COMES NEXT by Jonathan Baumbach


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Next, Mr. Baumbach's second novel (A Man to Conjure With), symptomatic to be sure, full of scratchy protest and eruptive hostility, has meaning primarily in its representative meaninglessness. Or as Chris Steiner's father puts it (Chris is an unmotivated underGraduate): ""You can't be tough and believe in nothing.. . . They want to throw everything out, these kids, and start over."" But where? Mimicking Chris' own resentments and repudiations are paranoid headlines of violence (war, rape, murder, etc.). On the other hand there's Curtis Parks, Chris' professor, involved in peace marches, uninvolved in his marriage, having an affair with another student the abundantly endowed Rosemary, etc., etc. Mr. Baumbach's talent, accredited earlier, is diminished by the doubtfulness of What Comes Next for people like Chris who have nothing but their sexual twinges and phantom terrors to begin with... all much closer to discomfort than despair.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 1968
Publisher: Harper & Row