Falling Free

Barry Targan, Author University of Illinois Press $14.95 (121p) ISBN 978-0-252-01645-5
These six vivid stories, Targan's third collection ( Surviving Adverse Seasons ), are full of realistic detail about different places and activities: a brash 15-year-old vendor's impressions of Atlantic City as boot camp during WW II, a bankrupt Jewish businessman battling a fundamentalist sect for his son's mind, fathers and sons on a skiing holiday, a famous woman painter recalling an early love, a middle-aged drifter out West deciding to settle down. The stories contain an inordinate amount of philosophizing, unsuccessfully disguised as the ruminations of characters who have reached a critical point in their lives. In the least successful tale, the resolution comes mostly through intellection and overheated prose, but when the metaphors and the actions come together perfectly, Gargan's verbal excesses are forgivable because he shares with the reader his enthusiastic interest in how life is lived. (Aug.
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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