BRING ME TO THE BANQUETING HOUSE by Sol Biderman

BRING ME TO THE BANQUETING HOUSE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

These sequences of life within the walls of a Jewish Foundling House in Denver, Colorado, take David Unicorn through the natural progression of boy to man and catch life on the wing in funny, sad, rowdy and reverential moments. As a little boy, David thinks his mother lives in Texas--a yellow house down the road--runs away to find her but is quickly returned, while his father who lives in the city but is unable to take care of him pays weekly visits which eventually are curtailed. There are other boys--the boisterous Bootie Katzenelbogen who crushes his tomato plants, or Hyman Paul who dies in the hospital, or his whole gang who form a clubhouse and begin to steal candy bars in town so that it is David who is accused of being the ""Ali Baba of these thieves."" And the growing awareness of girls and David's incurable itch which takes him to the doctor, the rabbi and the social worker, and finally to Dolores, his first, who pays for her sins when her arm is amputated in the washing machine. Throughout David, chastened by the circumstances of life and often haunted by fear and loneliness, hopes for the banqueting house--viz. love--and if ""the lacunae were filled would not the illusory present become the past?"" In a harsher light, David's story may perhaps be as disadvantaged as he is in today's world of showier talent. But Mr. Biderman is a writer of quiet virtues, literal, sensitive and above all convincing.

Pub Date: June 27th, 1969
Publisher: Viking