EASY AND HARD WAYS OUT by Robert Grossbach


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Greater than Something Great (1971) which is more than you can say for practically any second novel -- this has a new terrain, the tinker-toy frontier of aerospace science as against the Bronx boyhood of the first book. Still Harvey Brank, our antihero here, is a variant of the earlier Stuie Schechtman -- one of those congenital underachievers with elusive dreams of glory. He also may be the same misbehaver at Auerbach Labs responsible for the communiques on vandalized lavatory supplies and the prank paging of famous people like Kafka. But then it's that kind of world where everything is subjected to ritual, error, trivia, surveillance and nitwit nitpicking. Then there's the fact that Brank has had an erratic occupational history from here to there and that now, in the microwave department, he's having trouble with his work on a new plane which is not passing its temperature test. This then is all about life as we know it where the sweet smell of success quickly becomes the whiff of setbacks, failures, terminations of one kind or another. Grossbach has written a spiffy, spiky book which for all its dark-complected humor has a lot of very funny positive feedback.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1974
Publisher: Harper's Magazine Press