THE TENTS OF WICKEDNESS by Peter De Vries

THE TENTS OF WICKEDNESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The pursued culprits of Comfort Me With Apples (1956), Charles Swallow and Nick Sherman, again find the cream of the jest turns sour in Decency, Connecticut, when each endeavors to top the other's stratagems and both are confounded in confusion. Charles' dilemmas evolve from a succession of sources:- the blackmail by the father of an old flame, Sweetie Appleyard, results in Charles getting her parody -- poems published and seeing that she achieves a normal life, while Sweetie herself is determined that Charles shall father the baby she wants, which blasts his marriage to Crystal. Nick develops a split personality and turns burglar and Charles' efforts to use psychiatry for his deus-ex-machinery fails. And when Sweetie's pregnancy and Crystal's suspicions burgeon together, Charles goes into a complete retreat-from which the incorrigibles emerge- scathed. With Sweetie parodying the poets, and Charles meeting his situations in the literary patterns of Marquand, Proust, James, Camus, Sartre, Faulkner and others, this, while flamboyant in its farce, is indecently ingenious in its style and writes its own ticket for virtuoso fanciers, connoisseurs.

Pub Date: July 16th, 1959
Publisher: Little, Brown