THE FIRE ESCAPE by Susan Kale

THE FIRE ESCAPE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

As against Anonymous' Streetwalker (Viking, p. 84) with some of the fuller titillating particulars of this profession, Susan Kale's autobiographical account of her life which wound up walking the same London streets, is curiously matter of fact. There are many other curious things about the book-and/or Susan Kale, notably her indifference to life which made possible her rather erratic attachments, marital and otherwise, her desultory attempts to end it (two at least), and of course her indiscriminate use of her body. A clergyman's daughter, conventionally but not too rigidly reared, she never seemed to form any real relationships with her family- or later- when in her 20's she found herself with no particular plans. She works sporadically (anything from modelling for artists to modelling as a demonstration subject for the fitting of contraceptives); she marries a somewhat younger boy, but encourages a former lover (a puppeteer-married) to move in with them; she marries again and has a child (Merlin) but is unable to keep him; she becomes a prostitute (and caters to the pervert twists of this trade); and always in the back of her mind, is the room at the top of the fire escape where she had left a man to die. It's a strange book, bleak, occasionally effective, and unquestionably bona fide- and the publishers will support it.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday