Cold Spring Harbor

Richard Yates, Author Delacorte Press $0 (182p) ISBN 978-0-385-29502-4
The central ""character'' and enveloping presence in this novel is a ``whole rotten little town'' on the north shore of Long Island. In no sense the Cold Spring Harbor of the tourists and summer people, it is the dismal home base where the characters live out their disappointments and aborted hopes in the period before and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Evan Shepherd, a lout as boy and man, a machinist in love with cars, is the son of a retired Army officer reduced to the role of valet to his neurasthenic, alcoholic second wife, Rachel, daughter of a garrulous, socially pretentious alcoholic madwoman. Rachel's brother Phil, a 16-year-old prep-school student, is the only character who might conceivably develop into a substantial person. The lives portrayed are bleak, trivial, thwarted, vapid, but they are made memorable against all odds by Yates's high virtue as a writer. The power demonstrated in his earlier work (A Good School; The Easter Parade is reconfirmed here; he can bring a scene, a subject, a character to sharply detailed focus through an unswerving fidelity to the grim truths of existence, related in a clear and ringing prose. (September 12)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Open Ebook - 108 pages - 978-0-307-48306-5
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-385-29596-3
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