THE GAME by Richard E. Drdek


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Mr. Drdek has a palpable locale--a Czech neighborhood in 1935 Cleveland; three interesting principals--a twelve-year-old boy of sordid origin, his fiercely fond, fiercely independent foster father, the unceremonious parish priest, mediating between exigency and affection; and a pregnant situation--the announced intention of some parishioners to take the boy away from the man on the grounds of inadequate care and, more subtly, improper influence. It might, if it were less awkwardly written, be one of those short novels which spans adolescent and adult interests--certainly the dilemma occasioned by Sonny's finding $1500 in a shoe box, regarding the money as a benefaction from ""Uncle"". Frank's Little People, and intending to spend it (on Uncle Frank) is sensitively handled and solved: the meaning of Uncle Frank's elliptical parable is what he must do. You have to admire the aim and the accomplishment and still wonder who will read into the heart of the story: it builds slowly and circumferentially, largely by recollection and reconstruction; focuses primarily on the priest; and takes place in a single day of salient conversations rather than actions. A near-miss of considerable proportions with an equally large audience problem.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday