Email this review


This volume consists of three short novels:-Main Line West and Far From Cibola are grim profiles of depression days in the area defined by the title; The Common Heart -- in the same general region (Albuquerque) is written on the upbeat, in sharp contrast. Characteristic of all three is Paul Horgan's sense of people, his gift of pace, and his regional quality. But the tragic undertones and overtones of the first two- and shorter- novels is a desperate reminder of the indomitable will to live despite odds, and the hopeless struggle to provide some sort of pattern of normality when the odds are all against it. One ends each story with a sense of futility faintly offset by a gleam of hope provided by this will to live...Longest of the three, The Common Heart seems in contrast almost to strike a light note of affirmation. It is told on different levels of time, as a doctor- forced to live in the past because his wife denies the present- finds escape into the more distant past through his hobby of collecting regional books about New Mexico's early history. And then he is forced into the present by an alluring widow, a patient, who almost brings him to the point of betrayal. The essential core of his goodness saves the day. Worthwhile reading, though it should be taken a unit at a time.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1962
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy