I, GIORGHOS by William J. Lederer

I, GIORGHOS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

George Adamson, 57, looks and feels like an old man: he's had a slight heart attack; his writing career has crumbled (it's been years since his famous Mount Athos, the Holy Mountain); he has split up from young-ish wife Sheila. So now, in need of cash and sustenance, he's off to his adoptive native land, Greece--where he'll get a big advance for a book on the Greek saints. First, however, George's Greek publisher turns him over to earthy old Maria for rehabilitation--starting with a visit to a holistic bishop/physician/gum, who tells George his problems are spiritual/emotional, not physical. Next Maria introduces George to holistic lamb-slaughter (""he was changing his form of life to mine"") and non-chauvinistic sex. And then, awakened to his life's essential rottenness, George knows ""I must leap boldly--with my aching, frightened eyes open--into the unknown abyss of my own self."" He impulsively buys an old sailboat, setting off for Hydra. He runs into problems--but identifies the ""mischievous internal stranger"" responsible for them. He has good, sharing sex with a Japanese secretary; he conquers his cheaply lustful yen for a beautiful young woman; he gets in touch with his inner androgyny. (""Hello there, Woman-who-is-inside-me. Greetings! What's your name? I'd like to know you."") He overcomes his hatred for a satyr-like young intruder--even saving him from drowning. He's flooded with spontaneous psychoanalytic insights--especially an Oedipus Complex variant which has, he realizes, dominated his entire romantic life. (A repressed memory of his hated, seductive stepmother comes to the surface.) And finally, having written his book, George retreats to a saint's cave, fasts, and finds God (""an all-inclusive energy"")--after which he's able to truly forgive his dying stepmother. . . and to achieve holistic nirvana. (""Silently I asked the apple for permission to eat it; and I knew that permission had been granted. I thanked the apple."") Soggy with watered-down Zen and California-therapy jargon: a well-meaning but embarrassing soul-journey, only slightly enhanced by the Greek-isle backgrounds.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1984
ISBN: 0393332810
Publisher: Norton