Middle Murphy

Mark Costello, Author, Costello, Author University of Illinois Press $19.95 (137p) ISBN 978-0-252-01795-7
After a hiatus of 17 years, Costello ( The Murphy Stories ) has triumphantly resurrected his alter ego. We now find Michael Murphy approaching middle age but still roaming the introspective terrain he had earlier staked for himself. The impressionistic flashbacks in ``Young Republican,'' the first of these six stories, revealused below that Murphy has always been an outsider. The juxtapositions of his memories leave the reader as uncomfortable as the character and set the tone for the entire collection. In ``The Soybean Capital of the World,'' the only third-person narrative, an inebriated Murphy hitches a ride with a drunken couple to his parents' home, only to be repudiated by his upright father (``Why do you come home just to hurt us? Do you know, son, that less than three percent of the people in this country are like you?''), who nevertheless lends him money. Other stories deal with the breakup of Murphy's marriage, his relationship with his son and the deaths of his parents. Viewed in the intense light of Costello's prose, Murphy's ordinary life discloses surprising, discomforting facets. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 152 pages - 978-0-252-06319-0
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