Big Time Tommy Sloane

James Reardon, Author Freundlich Books $18.95 (426p) ISBN 978-0-88191-043-8
To her growing body of critically praised work, 1981 Ernest Hemingway Awardwinner Silber ( Household Words adds another minutely observed, subtle and perceptive novel. Her protagonist, bright, pretty Pauline Samuel, leaves her immigrant parents' home in Newark right after high school graduation in 1924 and, full of intellectual pretensions and romantic dreams, becomes involved with a group of second-rate artists and writers in Greenwich Village. Innocent and naive but determined to appear sophisticated, Pauline centers her life on a round of parties and bars, late nights and lots of alcohol. She cultivates friends who appear glamorous to her, but in reality she is sinking into their seedy lifestyle. In search of a ""free union,'' she moves in with a man she doesn't much like and whom she soon despises as a sponger and cheater of his friends. Another dingy liaison follows, as Pauline slides slowly down the social and economic ladder. Eventually she becomes bitter as she realizes the unfocused quality of her existence, but a burgeoning sense of sisterhood may be her salvation. Silber conveys the bohemian Village background and the aimless lives of Pauline and her friends with the grainy reality of a black-and-white photograph. Her direct, intense prose conveys the essence of a character in a few judiciously chosen words. This deceptively simple narrative achieves real depth and resonance. First serial to Paris Review. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-90981-9
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