THE MARE'S NEST by Paul Griffith


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A strange, compulsive type of writing to this which ranges backward in time as well as in contemporary happenings and which has to do with the southwestern town of St. Andrews and all the closemeshed antagonisms, bloodless feuds, emotional irrationalities, that are circumscribed by the mere event of living -- and dying -- there. Beginning with young Jacob and his unwitting devotion to his father, after the murders of his mother and sister, on to the death in life that the once beautiful Bessie Ritchie knew, it progresses to Jacob's adoption of the town and the people he lived with and worked for. There is the self-damning millionaire, Ivan, old Mollie Shaver whose death was so demanded by the woman imprisoned by her daughter, the acquisition of the old Rolls Royce from the Indians, which took Mollie's grandson away from home; there is also the story of Ada Shaver's marriage to Orlo, her affair with Ivan along with the legendary story of the Russian who came to save men's souls and who ended up by capturing the wealth of Mollie's father. And added to that there is the frustrated life of the lay Bishop, Sheddings who is also the sheriff and the mortician, whose unconsummated marriage ends in drink....A mangrove swamp of dessication and dissection, this, in its earthiness to cloddishness, its besotted behaviorism, carries overtones of the Capote bizarre, the penetration of Faulknerian turgidity- and has sometimes the fascination of the tale of an idiot -- told in old wives' recall.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1950
Publisher: Macmillan