TRIAL IN THE UPPER ROOM by Paul Sann

TRIAL IN THE UPPER ROOM

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Paul Sann, protagonist as well as author, kicks the bucket and heads northward to Heaven--but he finds that those pearly gates enclose a place far different than what he'd expected. First of all, the Upper Room looks like a series of big goff courses; it's chilly, the only food is boringly vegetarian, and--most surprising of all--the entrance visas are not permanent. He must stand trial first, he finds, charged on ten counts (one for each commandment compromised); if he's found guilty on only one, he gets an express trip down to the Other Place. 8o, while he prepares his defense, Sann visits his previously resettled wife, father, friends, and heroes: Toots Shor, Louis Armstrong, Martin Luther King, the Kennedys, Dutch Schultz, Frank Costello (both of the last having had the foresight to keep churchly no matter what else). But, in the end, this whole fantasy exists merely so that author Sann--former editor of the Dorothy Schiff-owned New York Post--can air a defense of his life. And that means a self-indulgent outpouring of sexual memoirs, exculpating alibis, straight-setting of sundry records, and--above all--a veteran newspaperman's appalling sentimentality and lack of discretion. Far more about Paul Sann and his professional scrapes and salves than most readers would wish to know; not a ""heavenly novel"" at all, but barely fictionalized autobiography.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1981
Publisher: Crown