Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Domestic comedy

From a meeting of the Four Seasons Reading Club (Elaine and me):

“It’s a good book. Its pages are good. It feels good to read it.”

The book is Dorothy B. Hughes’s In a Lonely Place (1947), reissued by New York Review Books. The Hemingwayesque good appears often. Here are the first dozen, smooshed together into a single paragraph for ease of reading:
It was good standing there on the promontory overlooking the evening sea, the fog lifting itself like gauzy veils to touch his face. That too was good, his hand was a plane passing through a cloud. The sea air was good to smell, the darkness was soft closed around him. It was a good moment. This time it tasted good. It was a good omen; it meant Brub wouldn’t have changed. A good fighter. Eyes, hazel; nose and mouth right for the face, a good-looking face but nothing to remember, nothing to set it apart from the usual. Good gabardine suit, he’d paid plenty to have it made, open-necked tan sports shirt. The room was a good one, only the chair was gaudy, the couch was like green grass and another couch the yellow of sunlight. Good prints, O’Keeffe and Rivera. “Because we had to isn’t good enough.”
But really, it’s a good book. As is Hughes’s The Expendable Man (1963). I can’t say as much for Ride the Pink Horse (1946). That one is not good.

Related reading
All OCA domestic comedy posts (Pinboard)

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