THE TRIALS OF MOLLY SHELDON by Julian F. Thompson

THE TRIALS OF MOLLY SHELDON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This savage diatribe against would-be book and film censors contains little of the wit or engaging intellectual discourse that animates most novels by Thompson (Philo Fortune's Awesome Journey to His Comfort Zone, p. 641, etc.). To Ira Sheldon's Vermont general store and fake antiques emporium comes busloads of picketers from Parents Opposing Obscene Books And Rental Films (POOBARF). Their nonviolent but annoying antics send Ira off to organize a counter demonstration. Narrating is Ira's daughter, Molly, who prattles on about small, generally insignificant details and delivers lectures, thinly disguised as conversations, on Constitutional rights and censorship. Not content to heap scorn on the protesters, Thompson villifies them: POOBARF's three local members put Molly on trial as a witch. In effect, the author trivializes the issues he addresses and festoons the plot with loose ends and tangential revelations (e.g., Molly's boyfriend turns out to be an abused child). For better treatments of the subject, check out Stephanie Tolan's Save Halloween (1993) or Kathryn Lasky's Memoirs of a Bookbat (1994), both of which examine clashing values in American small towns with--if not sympathy--a modicum of respect for both sides.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Henry Holt