Crooked Hearts

Robert Boswell, Author Alfred A. Knopf $17.95 (339p) ISBN 978-0-394-55706-9
As evidenced in his prize-winning short-story collection Dancing in the Movies (where a portion of this work previously appeared), Boswell is a fearless writer. In this stunning novelistic debut, he lays bare the protective yet stifling private worlds that insulate families in his tale of the matchless Warrens. Intoxicated and immobilized by their attachment to a family that ""is a drug,'' they love and betray each other in equally fierce measures. Epitomizing their collective resilience is the idiosyncratic Warren custom of throwing a party (complete with Christmas lights, drinking and dancing) to celebrate failure: unsuccessful science projects, dropping out of college, divorce, adultery, sickness and death. In Boswell's talented hands, this odd habit is wholly believable and provides a thread that unifies the novel. With an unusually strong grasp of child, adolescent and young adult psyches, he blends a third-person narrative with the family's first-person accounts, a potent combination of differing perspectives. Gifted with a keen sense of subtlety and timing, Boswell uses his unadorned prose to create a work of piercing and passionate complexity. (May 12)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 339 pages - 978-0-06-097586-9
Paperback - 978-0-440-50260-9
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