JUSTICE HUGER by Meyer Liben


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The novella, ""Justice Hunger,"" and three of the nine short stories are being published for the first time; the others have appeared before in various magazines. The novella is lacklustre reportage about a 1930's boy in love with an unresponsive girl. They drift through endless conversations in coffee houses about Stalin vs. Trotsky, hard times, unions, and the purpose of art--most of these topics are merely listed. But if the novella is pedestrian, many of the short stories are small, sharp images, touched with irony and a natural sympathy for bungling human beings. One of the best is ""A Note on Chivalry,"" a series of short sections, askew in ""real"" time, describing the thoughts of a man who throws a book at some sociologists at a party--to ""defend"" a lovely girl they are talking to. Another is ""The Locking Gas-Cap, which lightly reveals the frustrating thoughts of a man (engaged now for six years) about his fiancee and her mother, who is ubiquitous. Another is ""Ball of Fire,"" about a businessman who, reading a novel concerning an indolent man, mulls Over the argument of sloth versus action. Liben dwells a great deal on the ""almost-motivated"" but lazy person, the guy who can't ""shake"" his surroundings or himself. The casual, talkative stories show this predicament very well, while the novella never sloughs off its prosy sluggishness.

Pub Date: March 29th, 1967
Publisher: Dial