WE FISHED ALL NIGHT by Willard Motley


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The author of Knock On with a penetrating- and unrelievedly depressing-novel of post-war Chicago. Three figures are highlighted against a setting of tenements, middle class homes, taverns, whore houses, and the hangouts of ward politicians. The one, Jim Norris, a balanced, sane liberal, a man who cared profoundly for his wife and children, for his standards in business, in the labor setup, comes back from the war on the highway to moral decadence. Aaron Levin, haunted by sensitivity as to his Jewish father, his errant mother, driven by a desire to write - and an insecurity in his personal relationship, is tagged as ""psycho"", committed to a mental hospital, and after his discharge, slips into incurable mental ruin. The third, Don Lockwood, has posed as something he isn't, denied his Polish slum background, sought expression in little theater activities -- and, back from the war, dramatizes his loss of a leg, and accepts the role of a war hero. From a flebting moment, he seizes on something beyond his reach, the ideals of his war buddy who had been killed. But he can't hold it, and becomes first a tool, then a big wheel in Chicago's shadiest and crookedest aspects of the political machine. The stories pass and repass, crossing at times, following separate trails at others; they carry forward- and then in flashbacks- the successive stories of the three men. And the women who loved them, understood them, and waited for them. It is a sordid, bitter book, with sex a dominant factor, often in unpalatable form. There is almost no character one can like, major or minor. There seems no ray of hope. Lacking the tenderness, the compassion that saved Knock On Any Door from utter brutality, this book will shock and horrify the average reader. Caution to Public Libraries. It is not for the thin skinned.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1951
Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts