Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThis second book of the Time 2 Quartet takes Shakespeare's All the World's a Stage as its inspiration. The stories, sketches and a poem are called ``Lovers and Pantaloons,'' ``Mewling and Puking,'' etc., and have very little in common except that all the characters hail from Columbia Falls, Me. Columbia Falls acts as a sort of Our Town for the characters paraded into our view, all of them trying to puzzle out their lives. We have Martha and George, a young couple in the first sketch, followed by Martha and George in the next piece, 41 years later. Totally average people, they chat about their lives in a comfortable, folksy sort of way. And there's Dan Prescott, sent by his minister father into combat to make a man of him who writes back: ``Compassion . . . God suffers.'' And Doc John, a marvelous raconteur who reminisces about past tragedies, triumphs and loves and the medical instructor who sent him back to Columbia Falls to cheat death any way he can. By the author of the Fletch series, these pieces are charming in themselves, but the collection lacks cohesiveness. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal$16.95. f All literature is consciously crafted; the trick is to hide the ``consciously'' and let the craft shine forth. McDonald does not always pull off that trick in this uneven collection. The second in his Time 2 quartet, it is modeled on Shakespeare's Seven Stages of Man, with each story focusing upon a particular age. The most successful stories are ``Satchels and Snails,'' which uses irony to contrast a young boy's make-believe world with his parents' charade of a marriage, and ``Quick in Quarrel,'' in which a minister's son is encouraged to go to war so that he won't rush into the ministry. Juxtaposition of opposites is McDonald's strong suit. When it works, the result is fine reading. When it does not, the result is an overly self-conscious literary conceit. Michael Boylan, Marymount Univ., Arlington, Va.
- Hill & Company, Publishers
- Publication date:
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >