LIVING QUARTERS by Vincent Canby


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Mr. Canby, who is the film critic of the New York Times, has written a first novel which is primarily an entertainment -- elegantly iced with dreams and desires and uncertainties. From the time when Daisianna is first introduced on a French Caribbean island at the wrong end of the gun with which she has shot her husband (you won't know why for a time but it would appear that Daisianna can get away with anything -- even murder). And who can deny how Zelda-ish she is -- sad, mad, bad Daisianna seen through a haze of booze and pills and tears, the town pump from the time when she grew up in the midwest and first enslaved Jimmy Barnes, just like his father before him. It is to Jimmy that she keeps turning even after she moves on and away to New York -- in and out of clinics -- and becomes an heiress to millions which makes her marriage to Charles du Chaudrun (a minor figure in films) still more self-indulgent. It's hard to say whether you altogether believe in her but then you don't have to -- the aura of restlessness and outlandish impulse and fantaisie in its lesser sense is enough to make the book the permeable attraction that it is.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Knopf