SOUTHERN TERRITORY by Robert Tallant

SOUTHERN TERRITORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Where's your sense of humor, Robert Tallant? Your sense of decency, too? This is a poisonous and unpalatable book, which --were I a publisher's traveler -- I'd be reluctant to sell. For it is a wholesale and unrelieved indictment of the whole race of traveling salesmen, a picture of them (through a selected handful of the species, presumably intended to be typical) that shows them as almost habitually drunk and disorderly, relegating their paper work and their round of calls to a low spot on the agenda, and concentrating on pub crawling, liquoring up in hotel bedrooms and available females, of various kinds. There's intended to be a sympathy build-up,- for Bill Henderson, who is just too too attractive to the ladies, and Doak Miller, who is old and sick and a has-been. But I failed to find my sympathies stirred. Instead, I found the round of the southern territory an abysmal bore, not worth the gifts of the author for deft phrase and occasional human drama. It takes an Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman) to go to the inner core of the matter- and Robert Tallant is no Arthur Miller.

Publisher: Doubleday