ONE FINE DAY by Leon Arden


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Robinson Blake, a 34-year-old bachelor working for a New York foundation, finds that time seems to have stopped for him with one endless day: March 15th keeps constantly progressing to its midnight finish, only to immediately re-roll. Is he crazy? Dead? In Purgatory? Going initially on that last assumption, Robinson tries to earn his escape back into normal time by doing good works--or at least trying to (he botches up while trying to prevent a rape, he attempts to foil a bomb threat on a trans-Atlantic flight). But when every midnight still brings March 15th right back, Robinson goes on to some less good works--like putting the make (successfully) on his boss' cool, seductive wife. And Robinson has some fun with his partial ability to predict the future of this one re-running day. Not fun, however, is his premonition about the imminent suicide of secretary-girlfriend Milly--who, in fact, turns out to be the wellspring of Robinson's whole time-mess. Milly's very Jewish mother, you see (by the name of Mrs. Hawkmann), is really a witch who has engineered a love-spell for Robinson and Milly; but the spell has gone awry, and Mrs. H. has had to make a time-tinkering deal with God in order to correct the situation. It's all quite complicated--and Arden (The Savage Place), though he treads lots of bright, comically hectic water, can't really untangle things with much grace. The result is breezy but frantic, a whimsical Twilight Zone-ish episode that neither takes off with humorous energy nor settles in with eerie impact.

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1981
Publisher: Norton