Swan Boats at Four

George V. Higgins, Author Henry Holt & Company $23 (228p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3077-8
Though Higgins's trademark Boston lowlifes, pols and lawyers are absent from this moderately engaging detour into high society, his trademark long monologues are definitely present: the protagonist's opening screed against federal bureaucrats runs to about 7000 words. Sixty-ish Massachusetts banker David Carroll and his wife, Frances, are on the London-to-New York maiden voyage of a refurbished luxury liner, a trip that Frances booked even though, 12 years earlier, David had a fling with the liner's 30-year-old marketing manager, Melissa. The Carrolls are forced to share a table with elegant retired Yankee Burton Rutledge, who regales them with stories of his late wife, her life and loves--at every meal for five days. Rutledge's tale is often convoluted, containing dialogue within dialogue. It's unlikely and ambiguous as well (Is Rutledge ever telling the truth?), and the Carrolls come off as self-absorbed and boring. But Higgins (Bomber's Law) keeps everything aloft on clouds of effortless hot air--or at least until the shaggy-dog ending. Rights: ICM. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.