CAN I GET THERE BY CANDLELIGHT? by Julius Horwitz

CAN I GET THERE BY CANDLELIGHT?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This third novel, Julius Horwitz' best, is set in London near the end of WII where an American soldier is stationed. He becomes acquainted with middle-aged Nora; an artist of considerable talent and once confidante and mistress of the great. Through Nora he meets the numbed, drifting group of prostitutes and intellectuals who patronize the Dog and Duck. Like Nora, they have been unable to exploit a past and cannot contemplate a future, in a sense denying the death around them with a feverish physical communication. Subsequently, the soldier meets Lenny and their love affair is both passionate and serene although they realize it is only an Interlude since Lenny's marriage to Robert has its own value. Their love affair, however, is the eye of the hurricane, as the buzz bombs, the departure of bomb aden planes, the incipient end of the war raise questions. Nora and others discuss the penultimates, but on the foggy streets of London the soldier finds a clue and he understands the pattern of human existence which in the face of death strains to preserve its life. This Reason For It All comes as a relief to the reader, reeling from alcohol (consumed with a relentless dedication), orgies (a few), and fornication (lots). It is unfortunate that the author's most valid and effective total view is not supported by a cast of characters representing a total humanity. However, although the air is close, the end result is strong, stimulating.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1964
Publisher: theneum