Glad Rags

McDonald Harris, Author, MacDonald Harris, Author
McDonald Harris, Author, MacDonald Harris, Author Story Line Press $21.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-934257-34-3
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
Show other formats
FORMATS
Ben Gavilan--compulsive eavesdropper, retired small-press publisher, cultured divorce with one arm withered by polio--lives in a cottage on the grounds of a hotel in Santa Barbara, Calif. When he falls madly in love at first sight with Cecilia Penn, a harpsichord student half his age, he diagnoses himself as a middle-aged sentimentalist, an absolute fool, a wealthy machochist, ``the hero of Nabokov's novel.'' With the deliciously wry comedy for which he is noted, Harris ( Hemingway's Suitcase ) poignantly depicts a September/May romance as one man's reluctant farewell to youth and beauty, ``a preliminary to his farewell to life itself.'' For dreamy, placid Cecilia, it's a stepping-stone to a New Age wedding ceremony--with someone else. Orbiting the star-crossed lovers are an arty circle of friends, including a cynical Russian emigre novelist, his alcoholic wife, their mixed-up daughter and a woman posing as an astronomer. In witty philosophical asides, Harris invokes Chekhov, Ibsen, Flaubert, Homer and Dostoyevski as he plumbs love's ecstasies and follies. (Mar.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X