The Eighth Day: A simple story made complicated

The Eighth Day begins with murder of Breckenridge Lansing in his yard as he and his friend John Ashley are engaged in their customary Sunday afternoon rifle practice. Tried and convicted for the murder, Ashley was rescued from execution by six silent, disguised men and never heard from again. The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder […]

Politics damages All in the Family

Although Jack Kinsella’s Uncle Jimmy was a little man, when he threw his weight around, he got what he wanted. Except for one time when his plan backfired. All In the Family by Edwin O’Connor Little, Brown, 1966. 434 pages. 1966 bestseller #10. My grade: B+. By the time his three sons are grown, Jimmy […]

Keyes missed boat with ’52 novel

Ornate mansions reminiscent of Mississippi riverboats were the inspiration for Steamboat Gothic. Like the architecture, Frances Parkinson Keyes’ novel is massive, ornate, and richly detailed. But like its architectural counterpart, the novel lacks the realistic characters that are the literary equivalent of indoor plumbing. And the book is so long, I kept wishing Keyes had been […]