IN SEARCH OF A HERO by William Bayer


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An in-in-in roman a clef in which the prefabricated ""living"" characters have none of the vitality of the figures they represent and who are too diffused by the number of people to whom they refer. The main character is an older writer, Edmund Hallowell, who loves to talk about wars he's attended, women he's seduced, and books he's written. He is patently Hemingway and yet the author admixes some Edmund Wilson and pits him against an older woman who reveals her sexual didos in the manner of Mary McCarthy. The style is faded Fitzgerald, with long Island manslons and Juan les Pins backgrounds, plus Philips Exeter for a whiff of This Side of Paradise. In the novel's second half we get an imitation of George Plimpton's famous Hemingway interview from Paris Review. (Hallowell says to his interviewer, ""One good --- isn't worth one good paragraph..."") There follows a lengthy total- imitation of a Hemingway-Hallowell lost manuscript. There are the final accusations and illustrations of homosexuality in Hallowell, in the style of Leslie Fielder, then Hallowell dies and thank God this pastiche is over.

Publisher: World