BRIGHT FLOWS THE RIVER by Taylor Caldwell

BRIGHT FLOWS THE RIVER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While Guy, a middle-aged banker and real estate tycoon, sulks in a posh mental hospital in Pennsylvania, British psychiatrist James (a friend of Guy's youth) ponders Guy's malaise and lectures himself and others on the nature and current plight of the Total Man. What emerges is perhaps a decibel below the mastadon bellow of Ayn Rand, but it's from the same dig: ""The West,"" as James lays it on us, ""had become feminized."" A Man ""was made for rude combat. . . crude ferocity."" A Man should put ""money, territory and power ahead of any woman,"" A Man is not a lover of children (no goodnight kiss for the tots, ""for above all things, he was a man""). Where does this leave the womenfolk? Where they should be, back in the teepee pounding corn. After all, ""Boorishness thy name is Woman""--like Guy's demanding wife or his brother-in-law's wife, who jabbers about the ""downtrodden."" Of course, there are some Real Women, like the mistresses of Guy and James. These women have Suffered, have skinny derrieres and ""creamy bosoms,"" loathe the downtrodden, don't wear pants in the house (""It's indecent for a woman"") and don't even aspire spirit-wise (God ""never gave woman the breath of life to make her a living soul""). So what is Guy's problem? Obviously he never shook free of ""responsibility"" and a woman's world, as flashbacks are arranged to attest. James eventually gets the message across and returns to ""Marxist"" England to write about Fascistic Communism, while Guy shucks his wife and marries his mistress. Talky twaddle, but the name--and the old marching songs--will catch a certain audience.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday