FERTIG by Sol Yurick


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Yurick wrote The Warriors (1965, p. 585) about delinquency and the ugly underside of New York City; with a certain amount of benevolence on the part of the reader here, one can surface above some of the grubby particulars and the filthily functional sex and perhaps view this as an account of a messianic mad dog killer with a genuine satiric thrust. The latter is directed at the law, psychiatry (Yurick is very sharp here), and to some extent at life in general where actually the mild little man who doesn't want to save himself manages to retrieve the lawyer who has been using him to establish his own professional (and sexual) adequacy. A year after Fertig has seen his three year old son die because of the indifference-negligence of a city hospital, he kills seven people connected with Mercy Memorial, waits to be picked up and pulled in. Roy Bleakie, the lawyer assigned to his case, attempts to establish that he is insane; he tries to get a line on Fertig through the city psychiatrists, through a prostitute he frequented, and through his wife with whom he overindulges in a fashion which will challenge the physical fitness of even Henry Miller. It's all rather rabid, fetid stuff.

Publisher: Trident