Told in Gath

Max Wright, Author Blackstaff Press $0 (177p) ISBN 978-0-85640-439-9
Wright, a Belfast academic, summons his childhood and adolescence among the fundamentalist Plymouth Brethren (made known to Americans by ex-member Garrison Keillor) with wit and surprising affection. His father was killed when a bomb struck their home near Belfast in 1941. The author, then nine, was left alone with his mother, who was crippled by the blast. Understandably, their ties to the Brethren deepened, although Wright remained skeptical of the fundamentalist religion and relates that he would declare himself ``saved'' one week only to confess more doubts the following week. The group's literal reading of scripture and incessant hymm-singing give Wright material for reminiscences both humorous and poignant. ``Longwindedness in prayer was with the brethren no vice,'' he recalls. But Wright drifts away, impelled not so much by the intellectual ferment which would lead him eventually to a professorship in philosophy as by love of cinema and literature. The book is at its strongest when narrating the guilty struggle with his mother over his backsliding. Less effective is the lengthy quoting of hymms and the Bible, despite the author's explanation that ``I count myself lucky that having departed from the Scriptures they have not departed from me.'' (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Hardcover - 177 pages - 978-0-85640-449-8
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