Furors Die

William Hoffman, Author
William Hoffman, Author Louisiana State University Press $18.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1560-2
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
``Hillbilly trash'' is an epithet hurled by rich, smug Wylie DuVal at his father's awkward errand-boy, Amos Cody, aka Pinky. Son of poor, rural West Virginians, Pinky, member of a Pentecostal religious sect, condemns Wylie's youthful sexual and boozing escapades, yet secretly envies his freewheeling lifestyle. As the two go their separate ways--Wylie to college, then a brokerage job; Pinky to law school and fervent crusading for miners--this vividly detailed, wholly unsentimental novel deflates the snobbery and decorum of the wealthy and the self-righteousness of the overzealous. The lives of the boyhood antagonists intertwine repeatedly, notably when both fall for the same impetuous actress. When Pinky changes course to pursue Mammon, the story slips into heavy-handed parable, but the ending, which charts his total crack-up, exemplifies Hoffman's ( Godfires ) gifts for powerful psychological realism and prose that is by turns briskly functional and piercingly poetic. (Mar.)
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