HERE COMES PETE NOW by Thomas Anderson


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Your Own Beloved Sons (1956) was a vivid piece of war writing, as a study of a man's relationship to the men under him. Here Comes Pete Now is a remorseless, analysis of the hiring hall in the waterfront district -- and of how a man, educated, belonging to a social stratum he is seeking to escape, gradually drifts into the ranks of the unfit, the unemployable. The hall- the personality of the elusive, unseen Pete- the fruitless attempts of one bumptious applicant to help him out of his rut -- all this is explored with meticulous detail. What the reader never is told is why he is seeking this degradation, what he wants out of it other than a symbol remote from his earlier pattern, or what he lives on other than occasional handouts from associates during the years when he manages to escape being hired. It is a depressing story- scarcely a novel. It is written with more than a touch of cynicism and almost wholly without the compassion that characterized the earlier book. The market? A tenuous one- curiosity about the unquestionable talent of the author- interest in the content from the sociological viewpoint- these might be reasons for reading it. But in the end, the market would seem limited.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1960
Publisher: Random House