The Dispossessed

Don Carpenter, Author
Don Carpenter, Author North Point Press $15.95 (178p) ISBN 978-0-86547-221-1
Reviewed on: 04/26/1978
Release date: 05/01/1978
The railroad depot in a suburban California town, the scene of this hyperactive novel, magnetically attracts an assortment of transients: hopeless drunks and homeless wretches in all stages of dissolution; drug-dealers and their young customers; sane and crazy veterans of actual or imagined wars shouting incoherently in various languages. The pivotal character Valerie, a black homosexual, squats at curbside endlessly knitting a bedspread. Tim, the rough-diamond manager of the depot diner, and a statuesque Iranian waitress with revolutionary leanings are the star-crossed lovers. A TV feature on Valerie attracts more eccentrics to an area already overpopulated by ""colorful'' types, and the cast of characters constantly changes. Despite two grisly murders (for which the wrong man is convicted), Carpenter's sense of life's darker corners remains stubbornly benign. His touch is light and confident and his management of scenes strikingly visual, cinematicnot surprising in a storyteller (The Class of '49 who has also written film scripts, which this work, though cast as a novel, strongly resembles. (May 15)
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