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Written in collaboration by a man who had a story to tell but lacked technical equipment and a professional writer, Cry to the Pills is a very earnest but unsuccessfully worked out novel dealing with the plight of mountain people in today's rural Kentucky. Sarvis Hollow in Eastern Kentucky is a mining town completely enslaved by a system known to the miners only as the Syndicate. The men who are not broken and old before their time from working in the mines have very few other alter, natives. One of them is moonshining and the Alpine family who are the central figures of this story operate one of the best stills in the area. Their son, Slim Clyde, once a moonshine driver, has Just been released from Federal prison on parole and has determined to go straight. He takes his new bride, his sister Clissy and her husband Waldo and their two children to a slum near Cincinnati to look for work. But even though he has been trained as a mechanic neither he nor his brother-in-law can find Jobs. By the time the women have gone to work, they have become so dispirited and depressed by the crudity of their surroundings that the Kentucky Hills seem welcome, by comparison. The death of Waldo and his young daughter, and Clissy's determination to marry her wealthy employer, leave Clyde and his wife no choice but to return home where he takes up his old way of life. But he has no heart for being a man on the run and at the end half decides to give himself up to the law. The circumstances and the hopelessness of these people is appalling and the effort to tell their story can only be a laudable one. The fault with this particular novel is that it is only effective in its sociological concern. Where it should be strongest, in its personal confrontations, it is least competent.

Publisher: Doubleday