BLOOD ON THE DOVES by Maude Hutchins


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This is a novel whose pith and substance can best be compared with Professor Irwin Corey's brilliantly tense comedie humaine of several years back, Pistol Packin' Mama - By Her Own Six Gun Unfurled. Like PPN- BHOSGU, Blood on the Doves ask two essential questions about the human condition: (1) What is the Human Condition ? and (2) Why Ask Questions About It? On a more literal level, Maude Hutchins (My Hero; Honey on the Moon; etc.) explores the life and times of a country lout named Willie (Innocence?), a crescent moon over the Ozarks (Ozarkian illuminations?), the stillness of quince falling hard on the ground from the quince trees (the shock of confrontation? BOOM), blood on the doves the shape of a cruller (You can't have your cake and eat it too?), and the quintessential humanity of warring.... Seriously folks, the work is pure and not so simple parody. The subject--multilayered, symbolic, stream of consciousness novels and Miss Hutchins knows her multi-layered, symbolic, stream of consciousness novels well. The only problem is one that obtains in any parody: the difference between imitation (good) and identity (bad). It's so close to the real thing, it just isn't funny. We are not so much amused by the work as we are appreciative of the author's sensibilities. There are very funny moments, but Blood On The Doves reads too much like a bad novel to be a good one.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1965
Publisher: Morrow