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The Time in 194; the Place is Louisville, Kentucky; the hard centre of this full-bodied, full-blooded, full-loined novel is an armed forces parade on the main street on an October Saturday- and the periphery of the women. Here, heaped up and running over are whores, frustrated old men, artistic women, ""babes"", imbecilic nymphomaniacs, pregnant women, beaten women, drunken women, what they think while watching the parade, what they think and what they do when it is over. En masse, the parade seems the phallic, virile symbol. Individually, the story breaks into the accent on eleven women -- given form by the love of their men. Flick is the handsome, sleek gentile of high caste who falls in love with the Jew, Ben. Her thinking is rudely snapped into place when Ben explains that his family would not approve their marriage...Frankie's tough husband is a welder, who must prove his manhood by beating her when he can't get into the war...Mrs. Hankins tries to escape from the effects of the parade through a bottle of gin, poor substitute for the son who had been killed...Frances catches the eye of Emile, during the parade, meets him at a drugstore, falls in love and breaks her engagement to Carl...Onie is a hotly passionate, stupid, good-natured girl who can't say no...Gladys is a frustrated spinster, attracted by the homosexual Cora...There are others of the type of Celia, whose creativity is stifled by a cold, detached husband, or like Ellen, who discovers the dependence of all men... The author pulls no punches. Her novel is outspoken and intimate, and wherever opportunity offers she lets her women bed with her men. Her conception of woman in wartime is passionate and fertile, and she reveals it in kaleidoscopic effect, in motion, color, warmth of humanity. Definitely not for public libraries, and we feel that the average reader of good taste will prefer to avoid it. And this despite rumors that various spurs are being supplied in unexpected directions.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1950
Publisher: Random, House