FIRST MAN, LAST MAN by Josephine Carson


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In this novel of a backwoods noble savage, Tracy is the ignorant first man, last man. His bumbling words about his life are half the book--how the tornado killed his ma, drove his pa off; how he lived off the charity of Chillings, a farmer, whose daughter he marries; and then there's their daughter, Pink, who is heard from as a forty year old woman, an independent soul, a poet. During the course of Tracy's life, he owns a hotel, burns it down, ends in an old men's home which he escapes after knocking out the homosexual male nurse and making love to the cook. While Tracy's story is experience, the words of Pink, her husband, and Chillings are mere musings or recollections. The author seems to have wanted to try showing life through an ignorant's eyes, but it doesn't come off because Tracy is dull and irritating. The time span is too long and the language (thought working on action) is flaccid. First Man, Last Man, may conjure up some glimpses of the mental confusion and waste in life, but it is not convincing literature.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill