THE WINE OF YOUTH by Robert Wilder


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.....which sours quickly under Texas skies takes Kevin Costello through the paces that make -- and break. Closely linked to his father, whose success in contracting comes through his friendship with Luis Carvajel and an Anglo-Mexican association, Kevin succumbs to his ""second class citizenship"" with his father's murder, joins with Luis for vengeful as well as financial reasons, all the while a little bit in love with Luis' wife, the likable ex-whore Vivian. They ride the growing tornado of Texas business and expansion; they are unaware of the sharpening ambitions of Luis' nephew, Alberto, whose police work takes in greater territory; Luis' murder puts a bloc in Kevin's marriage to Moana but puts him in the driver's seat during the bonanza years until World War II. Then it is Shannon Lothrop, whom he keeps in Dallas, and whom he wishes to possess as he has never permitted Moana to possess him, who takes up his time and who watches his piecemeal destruction until his town of Vega and its venal civic affairs blow wide open. On the spot at last, he realizes his shabby indulgences and civilized piracy, his power for good which has succumbed to easy charm, and the need to ""come to terms with himself and the world in which he lives"" -- and finds Moana waiting to share his rehabilitation. The man of indecision, of lack of training and intelligent application, the years of bloated aggrandizement -- here appear in understanding rather than, virulent terms in which ""so big"" becomes rather ""so little"". A solid job for Wilder, this will have substantial publisher backing. Definitely not for conservatives.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1955
Publisher: Putnam