The Way Things Are

Allen Wheelis, Author, Jeff Putnam, Editor Baskerville Publishers $18 (181p) ISBN 978-1-880909-14-0
Wheelis, a psychoanalyst and novelist ( The Desert ), has here produced a seductive novel of ideas, a full-bodied May-September love story and a probing study of charismatic power. Trim, silver-haired Julian, a retired biochemistry professor, at age 70 falls for calm, reserved Mariane, a 26-year old San Francisco bookstore clerk who is currently preoccupied by her former psychology professor, a brooding, semimanic prophet of doom named Eliot Hawkins. Hawkins's public lectures, accompanied by photos of Hiroshima, Auschwitz, sex and bodily functions and pronouncements on the hypocrisy of societal taboos, update Freud's theories of Eros and Thanatos for the late 20th century. Julian weans Mariane away from this guru, but his brief affair with her turns out to be, on his part, a shield against his own fear of death, while she transfers her unfulfilled love for Hawkins to the lustful, four-times-married septuagenarian. Wheelis skillfully uses his characters' dreams and interior monologues to lay bare their unspoken thoughts and feelings. He also displays a gift for black comedy, as in Julian's visit to a dermatologist and Hawkins's funeral, which is dominated by a loud, overpossessive mother. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
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.