IN THE MIDST OF LIFE by Thomas Bell

IN THE MIDST OF LIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An unsentimental journey- through the last two years of a life that ended at 58 -- this is a different sort of record, and one that could not be recommended for inspirational or uplifting reading. Thomas Bell- author of All Brides Are Beautiful, etc.,- is told that he has an inoperable malignant tumor, and in this his final book, records his thoughts and some of his memories, his changing philosophy of life-and death, and the effect on his emotions of his deteriorating physical being. One puts together bits and pieces to form a fairly rounded impression of the whole man -- reasonably comfortable on the proceeds of his writing and the stationery store he and his wife own, living in a California town within sight and sound of the sea, fond of his family and his in-laws, and finding that he has more friends than he realized. There is little of corrosive self pity on morbidity- merely a natural reluctance to face the fact of death. There is a kind of faith in the belief that the new standard of honor for Americans, the new ideal, should lie in the honesty of the creative impulse and the integrity of the fine mind -- and that in feeling himself one of the group of artist-intellectuals, he is not dissatisfied with his role. Many reading his book will seize upon the moments of matter-of-fact courage, many will miss the faith in another life and regret the rejection of belief in any God. But all will sense something of value in recorded moments. And wonder how much more another might have made of them?

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1961
Publisher: Atheneum