A LENGTH OF ROPE by Monroe Engel


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A fairly unhealthy and more usually unappetizing perspective of unbalance which centers around the inmates and personnel (the line of demarcation is only marginal) of an institution known as Greenwood. There Ratcliff Pippin on his Sunday visits at tempts to establish some sort of contact with his idiot son, Edgar, and fails. On the other hand he is compensated by the meeting with Sheila Braun, a nurse, whose good-natured, ill-satisfied sensuality is subdued in the interests of security -- and stability when she marries Ratcliff. Also sacrificed is her relationship with Alec Forward, an or, who had escaped from a life of wealth -- and a wife -- to Greenwood where as ""slops boy he hopes to find the answer to his own great confusion. With the removal of Edgar, by Sheila and his father, who take him to live with them, Forward makes a misguided attempt to save himself, and them, and in the mercy killing of the boy confirms his own madness.... A distortion of minds and bodies which wriggle and writhe through ugly scenes and sequences, and the prose -- which is visceral too -- is no antiseptic agent.

Pub Date: May 19th, 1952
Publisher: Random House