THIS BLESSED SHORE by Thomas B. Morgan


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Twenty years ago this novel would never have found a publisher, such were the editorial taboos, and even today TV and movies still avoid Morgan's subject. For ""the blessed shore"" of the title is death, not life, and the sometimes dreadful pressure to commit euthanasia. David Starr, 30, a successful New York magazine editor, goes home to Lindsay, Illinois to introduce his fiancee to his elderly parents. During a poker game, Dave's father collapses with a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Dave's brother and sister fly in from California to wait out the last moment--which stretches on for a month while the old man deteriorates organically. Pressure on Dave's mother produces aberrations. Dave himself is both stripped of illusions and consumed by the idea that he should end his father's suffering. Meanwhile, the townspeople reveal little areas of inhumanity when the old man's furniture store is put to the auction block. The novel's physical climax gives Dave the opportunity to murder while the story's big Jolt is reserved for the last sentence. This brief first novel by a former Look and Esquire editor will shock impressionable readers, depress others who want placebos...Seldom original but a tight performance.

Pub Date: June 22nd, 1966
Publisher: Shorecrest