Yellow Dogs

Donald Zochert, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $16.95 (215p) ISBN 978-0-87113-254-3
The hero of this affecting novel is a Winchester, Kans., farmboy who objects to serving in WW I on the grounds of conscience. As a result, he's thrown into Fort Leavenworth prison, where he's subjected to a violent and degrading regime. In this jingoistic era, his familymodel citizens, widely admired in the communitybecome pariahs, solely on the grounds of their loyalty to the nonconforming son. The theme of the book is a celebration of one of the noblest aspects of our cultural tradition: the affirmation of an individual's right to oppose conventional wisdom on the ground of his own principles. Zochert's ( Another Weeping Woman ) evocation of our once-vibrant family farm communities is persuasive, and he has a good eye for landscape, capturing the feel of daily life in the hot, flat Midwestern countryside. Though the writing is not quite crafty enough to avoid tipping into sentimentality, the novel is engrossing and often provocative. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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