A Short Dance in the Sun

George Benet, Author Lapis Press $9.94 (174p) ISBN 978-0-932499-58-5
In a narrative that is, at its best, compellingly realistic, Benet ( A Place in Colusa , etc.) traces the lives of two very different brothers. An official in the San Francisco longshoremen's union, Monte takes nothing too seriously except the advancement of his career. He is posited as a foil to the deeply sensitive Joe, who is tormented by memories of the wife and daughter who left him years before. Benet's writing is as stark and engrossing as a noir film in his descriptions of Joe's work as a longshoreman, with its camaraderie and hard physical labor, debilitating alcoholic binges and experiences in a detoxification hospital. In the treatment center, Joe meets and eventually falls in love with Sandy, another patient, and together they build a stable life. Their ``dance in the sun'' is tragically truncated by a series of unexpected events. And it is here that the novel is weakest. The denouement is abrupt and implausible, leading to an unsatisfying ending for an otherwise vigorous novel. (September)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
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