Entry Into Jerusalem

Stanley Middleton, Author New Amsterdam Books $16.95 (172p) ISBN 978-0-941533-46-1
Readers of the prolific Middleton ( Blind Understanding ) will not be disappointed by this well-crafted and absorbing, if minor novel. John Worth, an ostensibly unambitious and down-at-the-heels, 32-year-old English artist, is taken up by Walden, an astute Hungarian art dealer. Like Worth's beautiful, politically radical girlfriend, Ursula, Walden intends to make Worth fulfill his potential in order to suit his own purposes. Tellingly, Worth's older friend Turnbull is on the brink of emotional collapse, having divorced his wife and married the charming and feisty Millicent, a woman younger than his own childen. Turnbull suffers in having failed to fulfill his promise in life, just as Worth threatens to doset adrift, as he is, by the suicide of his former girlfriend. In agonizing scenes between Worth and Ursula, Middleton reproduces, with perfect pitch, the painful progress of love going sour. His portrait of Worth is sensitive and complex, revealing a man more at home with the purely esthetic than the ideational in art, more able to feel empathetic connection with others than to transmit it. Some awkward and lazy writing is balanced by the occasional arresting phrase, and the elegantly contrived, inconclusive ending seems just right. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 04/01/1998
Hardcover - 172 pages - 978-0-09-150950-7
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