Night Freight

Clyde Rice, Author Breitenbush Publications $0 (141p) ISBN 978-0-932576-50-7
Fully realized characters and a vivid setting turn this brief autobiographical novel into a rich reading experience. Set during the Depression, the story takes place among a group of hoboes who have hopped a freight train making its way through northern California. The narrator, a young married man, is heading home to his wife and son. Through a long rainy night, he and the others exchange stories. Max, a belligerent fight promoter, is on the run from an angry mob. A religious young man, Glen, is nervously leaving his family for the first time. The most interesting of the travelers is an old man running from the conventional life his grown sons think he should lead. Rice (A Heaven in the Eye) clearly has lived portions of the narrative. While his characters speak of their dreams and fears, the reader experiences them. In one sense a fascinating documentary, the chronicle also elicits a strong emotional response. (December 1)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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