DEAR JOHN by Olle Lansberg


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Yet another in the transatlantic transmigration of books on which successful films have been based, and the languorous flic-kering of sensuous moods and moments is the essence and the sum total of the book itself. If overplotting is a Vice, underplotting is not necessarily a virtue and the scene when, at the start, John the skipper and Anita the waitress, with her youngster Matilde, go to Copenhagen to the zoo, and to eat ice cream, entails more motion than any other. The rest is just the increasingly erotic love sequence between John, the skeptic cynic (""to stay pure one had to be alone and in the long run you ended up being only lonely"") and Anita, once too young and too trusting, and again so. Sometimes this seems like an updated version of Lady Chatterley's flower power, and all the he-she personalizing of private parts is uneasily read and certainly was not heard on the soundtrack (except perhaps in the original Swedish.?). In any case, even with Graham Greene, one questions the audience for any re-run.

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1968
Publisher: Random House