The author of the well-received A Walk Through Fire here offers a perceptive black comedy about Southern manners and mores. Harry Lizenby, an English teacher at a snobby Nashville, Tenn., prep school, and his young artist wife attend Harry's 25th high-school reunion. The homecoming in Twin Rivers, Ala., where Harry spent an alienated adolescence, is being orchestrated by the Williamsons and the Wardens, the redneck town's self-appointed social elite. Skulking about is the unwelcome and resentful Bud Squires, a former classmate who has recently been released from prison after serving 18 years for killing his abusive father. Ostracized, and intent on getting even with his spiteful classmates, Bud has already bedded the Warden's rebellious and promiscuous 17-year-old daughter. As alumni begin checking into the local motel, cars are vandalized and pilgrims are waylaid, setting into motion a series of wildly disruptive events. Tormented by broken dreams, driven by repressed sexual fantasies and relieved of inhibitions by excessive alcohol and drugs, the grads lose control, and their behavior rapidly deteriorates into chaos. This bit of mischief is both entertaining and well observed, despite characters who share too many traits, including little hope of redemption. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/1995 Release date: 09/01/1995 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.