Apes and Angels

Apes and Angels

by Philip Appleman

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
How does Kenton, Ind., a small, predominantly Republican town, respond to New Deal liberalism and the looming threat of war in the last months of 1941? Saul Edelman, one of the town's three Jews, feels the Ku Klux Klan's wrath when his weekly newspaper runs editorials that defend Darwinism and condemn the Nazis. In an atmosphere of complacent isolationism, his schoolteacher daughter Elaine has a steamy affair with the town's respectable, married doctor, Thomas Roberts. One of Elaine's pupils, Paul Anderson, has the hots for her but ends up stealing his brother's girlfriend instead. Paul's father Charlie manufactures Slayzall, ``a supremely Republican insecticide . . . proud of its defiance of FDR.'' Appleman ( Shame the Devil ) evokes small-town America on the eve of Pearl Harbor without nostalgia or condescensionan impressive feat in itself. Amos 'n' Andy, Cab Calloway, The Maltese Falcon , Sunday hellfire sermons, quilting beesthe period bric-a-brac adds authenticity. Young love triumphs in this engaging novel about the end of innocence, both personal and national. (Jan.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Weaving the impending war into the lives of three families in a small Indiana town three months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Appleman melodramatically probes the disruptive effects of love and lust, racial and religious bigotry, and Christian fundamentalism and Klan violence. The excessive diffusion of subplot and character vitiate the story and the conclusion, where, by authorial manipulation and small relevance, the various fictive elements wrenchingly become coincident. Appleman's oft-stated themewhat is the meaning of life?lacks imaginative motivation. As a result, the novel is more an attempt at a philosophical interpretation of life than an integrated piece of fiction. Glenn O. Carey, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)

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