A SEA CHANGE by Nigel Dennis


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If perhaps with a certain satiric intent and accomplishment, this is still a cheerless and thoroughly unattractive portrait of a sullen, overprotected epileptic of eighteen, and a shambling, foulmouthed liberal journalist in his middle years. Jimmy Morgan, resentful and rebellious under his mother's repressive concern, gets a chance to go to Poland with one of her political proteges, Max Divver, who divides his time between some unoriginal journalism and his Freudian speculations about himself and his wife, Lily. In Poland, Divver is tormented by his sense of guilt towards Lily whom he was glad to leave, and by the end of his stay there- just before the Nazi Anschluss- becomes involved with an American whose politics are anything but democratic. Jimmy, left on his own, is transformed by his new freedom, accomplishes a rather ungainly if exhilarating (in retrospect) seduction of a married woman, refuses to go home- when he should, and makes a last minute escape in the panic before the Nazi invasion in which Divver is killed.... Perverse, ironic, this is essentially dull.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1949
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin