In the Hollow of His Hand

James Purdy, Author Grove/Atlantic $16.95 (254p) ISBN 978-1-55584-002-0
The Ojibwa Indian, Decatur, returns from World War I to the small Midwestern town of Yellow Brook where he sees the youth Chad Coultas and suddenly understands the boy is his son. The conflicting claims of Decatur and those of his legal father, Lewis, send Chad on a coming-of-age journey that takes him from the high life in 1920s Chicago to the Canadian wilds, initiating him into sex, drugs and the complications of filial love. Purdy (In a Shallow Grave tells a highly charged gothic tale, using larger-than-life characters of grand gesture and eloquence to express universal themes. Unfortunately, Chad's adventures read haltingly, as though they'd been composed sentence by sentence with long periods of time in between, a quality that seriously diminishes the tale's narrative drive, as well as the reader's enjoyment. (September 15)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-7206-0695-9
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