Kirkus Star


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A swinging, fast and furious, bitter and funny novel about the illusions and disillusions life perpetrates upon people through each other introduces a new writer, to be watched. The story is toll in alternate, interior bursts of monologue, all quite distinct in tone and viewpoint. Carpenter Wren, too aware of death and life, is viewed by his wife Brenda as a . Brenda, synthetically ""sensitive"" from too much reading, allows herself to be and taken away to Atlantic City by Amos. Amos, bored and bitter, proceeds to shred all Brenda's notions about herself, and leaves her for Honey, a vulgar harp player whom he marries. Danny, a Jewish bellboy, and aspirant poet (his quick change monopolies are magnificent) falls in love with Brenda and tries to help her. But Brenda pursues Amos and Henry to San Francisco; Carpenter beats his fear of death by becoming an employee in an old people's home, and, with another friend, and finally Danny, go after Brenda. This Midsummer Night's Dream pursuit of entangled lovers ends up in a confrontation on the coast with everyone more or less separated and stripped of their dreams.... The compression, the range of ideas and personalities within the action, the bitter and fantastic humor make this a splendid book. Everyone in it has lived to capacity and won or lost according to their characters.

Publisher: Knopf