THE KILL PRICE by JosÉ Yglesias


Email this review


He never stopped testing present experience with what he felt was the wisdom of the barrio. . . all the sophistication of their lives [in New York]. . . seemed empty when he remembered the poor and oppressed in the world."" Thus Jack, another of Yglesias' upwardly mobile Latins, a successful Mexican-American journalist who flips through sociopolitical identities hoping for a match between past and present. Jack has had a handful of peak moments of blood-brotherhood among the poor and oppressed in Cuba and South America. Yet the transcendent friendship with Jewish novelist Wolf offered a closer fraternity of mind and imagination. Wolf is now dying in Manhattan, surrounded by Ms young wife, a former mistress, a flaccid ex-brother-in-law, and Jack--who vibrates to Wolf's windy Socratic fade-out like an aeolian harp. While Wolf holds forth on life's litter, Jack and the two women wrestle with their impending loss, gingerly testing the ties to one another. At the close Jack turns back to the dead Wolf--embraced by the two women--as if he were going home, at peace with himself, for at last there are ""others"" to suffer ""with."" A novel stiff with statement and a certain exhausted intensity.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1976
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill