Survey of the Atlantic Beaches

Don Hendrie, Author Crown Publishers $13.95 (218p) ISBN 978-0-517-56691-6
Like Odysseus, Devereux Hoopes, the protagonist of this pretentious, unbearably arch, exasperating novel, communes with the sea during his progress along the eastern shore on his way home to his beloved Penelope, here a seductive southern lady named Tessa. Devereux, fondly addressed as Dee-Vo and variously compared to Captain Nemo and Poseidon, is accompanied by his son Carl, whom he is ferrying home from prep school via stops in beachside communities from Massachusetts to Florida. Referred to by the author as ""the surveyor,'' ``the squinter,'' ``the ironist'' and ``the waiter'' (as in one who bides his time), Hoopes apparently is irresistible to women, but he resists the blandishments of a series of alluring females while remaining true to Tessa in Tuscaloosa. After some tepid adventures along the way, Devereux reaches home to find that Tessa has fled to Cumberland Island, Ga., an ``enchanted'' place where the two are reunited and Carl is set free to achieve his manhood. Hendrie's affected style immediately sets the reader's teeth on edge, and his singularly unappealing, eccentric characters are more caricature than flesh. Obviously paying parodic homage to Homer, Shakespeare and several other sources, Hendrie has produced a fatally mannered, boring book. (January)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
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