RIVERSIDE DRIVE by Louis Simpson


Email this review


A published poet's in another medium is told in the first person retrospect, and through the jostling, sometimes jarring, scenes and incidents which flash and fade on the screen of memory. Jamaican born Bell comes to Columbia University, and along with the impact of America and New York, there's Mona, with a certain flamboyant whom he drops after the slurring remarks of a friend. Unsure of himself, unsettled, goes off to war; he has a breakdown and spends a period in a state institution; he is rejected for readmission at Columbia, he gets a job, and picks up with Mona again. This time they engage in an affair, but Duncan leaves her to go to Paris for a time. Once again in New York there's job in a publishing house, an equally half-hearted marriage, and finally, , Mona whose sexual propensities and infidelities drive him away, this time keeps, with a memory which will never be dimmed although he has learned to compromise with the .... Somehow, like Duncan, there's a lack of definition here so that this book is not different from any young man's reprise of personal experience in a first book.

Publisher: Atheneum