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On Glory's Course

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  19 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
At first glance Fonthill seems to be a conservative big/little town of the pre-Repeal 1930s. Its shuttered houses are thick with sinful cigarette smoke; its inhabitants drink medicinally and gossip tirelessly. The queen bee of this sexually freighted hive is the faded and fallen beauty Adele Bevington. For it is Adele who is the final arbiter of Fonthill's manners and mora ...more
Hardcover, 1st edition, 378 pages
Published 1984 by Viking Books
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Carol
Apr 18, 2010 Carol rated it liked it
I'm not really sure what to think about this book. A story about small town Ohio life in 1913. Was it a parody? Did I miss something here? Did Purdy so hate his small town life that he threw everything (bestiality, incest, unwed mothers, widows, snarky lawyers,homosexuality)but the kitchen sink into it? What was the point? And if he wrote one more that so-and-so kissed another so-and-so on the mouth (he made a big deal out of that) I was gonna scream!

This book reminded me of a Fassbinder film..
...more
Djrmel
Mar 01, 2009 Djrmel rated it really liked it
Everybody judges everybody in this story, set in a fictional town in middle American in 1930. With almost every taboo of that era (and this one, in at least two cases) hinted at or out-right admitted to, no character can take the high road. The plot is pure soap opera, but it's well written soap opera.
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James Otis Purdy's "dark, often savagely comic fiction evoked a psychic American landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence and isolation." (NY Times obituary) He was an author of novels, short stories, poetry and plays. His works were controversial and often panned by critics but received praise from authors such as Edward Albee, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Gore Vidal.

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