Walls of Blue Coquina

Sam Harrison, Author
Sam Harrison, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $19.95 (239p) ISBN 978-0-15-194195-7
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
This novel's few, oddball characters, minimal action, isolated setting and philsophical premise strongly recall Waiting for Godot ; Harrison mesmerizes the reader with the character of an old man who does little more than sit on his porch all day, staring at the Gulf of Mexico. Bobby Sauls, huddled with his family in a microcosmic cluster of cottages on the Florida coast, has waited all his life for something to happen. Convinced that the all-important event will occur soon, Bobby conjures up visions of it, unaware at times whether he is awake or dreaming. When even he seems likely to lose faith in his convictions, the author persuades us that something just might come to pass after all. Indeed, ``the pathetic ragings, beautiful and sad, of Bobby's disintegrating mind'' are themselves uncommonly powerful, and Bobby's encounters while he waits are perhaps more interesting than whatever he's waiting for. Harrison's elaborate exploration of a dying man's need to believe in some transcendental experience while attempting to tie up the loose ends of his life is thoughtful and compelling throughout. (May)
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