These New Yorkerstyle short stories are filled with middle- class characters, most of whom—in defiance of travel-literature conventions—steadfastly refuse to experience an epiphany. Despite some fine writing, this uniformity kills Dark's (The Literary Lover, not reviewed) project. In William Maxwell's ``The Gardens of Mont-Saint-Michel,'' a couple returns with their daughter and niece to a spot visited 18 years earlier and find, to the husband's dismay, that the place has changed. The couple in Ward Just's ``I'm Worried About You''- -Marshall and Jan—travels through Europe and ends up in Paris, where a male friend lives and where Marshall feels a momentary longing for another kind of life. In the stories dealing with men making it with foreign women, the latter are uniformly empty and uninvolved. In James Salter's ``American Express,'' two American guys, ``lawyers and sons of lawyers,'' visit several Italian cities. One picks up an Italian woman and buys her a fur coat. Allen Barnett's ``Succor'' does a better job with international relations: An HIV-positive man who cares for AIDS patients in his home returns to Rome, where he lived at 19, and dines with his then-lover, who is engaged to be married. Sue Miller's ``Travel'' follows two of the better delineated characters here, former lovers Oley and Rob, who travel to Peru together and discover that things still do not work between them. Lorrie Moore's ``Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People'' also stands out, because it is one of the few stories with characters who are openly tourists. When Abby can't decide whether or not to stay with her husband, she and her mother travel to Ireland, where they queue up to kiss the Blarney Stone, which phobic Abby finds ``very unhygienic for a public attraction.'' These are exceptions, however, to travelers who are so civilized that they are affected by nothing. So why not just stay home? All the excitement of a trans-Atlantic flight.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-670-84578-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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