The Pooles of Pismo Bay

Howard Rose, Author Raymond Saroff Publisher $20 (430p) ISBN 978-1-878352-04-0
The characters in this posthumously published novel are set against the background of American labor activism in the 1920s and '30s. Emma Goldman, John Lewis, Sacco and Vanzetti and other historical figures are cited in telling the tale of the fictitious Cora Poole, a leader in the failed Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) movement, her beloved son Reuben and his spoiled wife, Roselle. Alternating stream-of-consciousness ramblings with sharply focused scenes, Rose's ( The Twelve Ravens ; see reprint below) portrait of a troubled family is sporadically moving, involving and amusing. The author demonstrates poetic flair, but this often is shrouded by pretentious prose. Consider this sentence about Roselle: ``But a little sweet articulation along the way--the excitement of pre-logical chaos dissolving before unanswerable words, the spectacle of the darkling intellect stung to benevolent noon--that only noon--humane education--dear god, an audience--the withholding of this , and not some spirited opinionating, was Roselle's crime.'' Rose also has the annoying habit of not spelling out numbers below 10 (``Well, it took 2 to make strangers''). (May)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Paperback - 412 pages - 978-1-878352-05-7
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