Surviving Joy

Surviving Joy

by J. P. Miller
     
 

Surviving Joy is the first novel in over ten years by J.P. Miller, the celebrated author of "Days of Wine and Roses," featuring a hugely likeable character whose story, for reasons peculiar to his origins, he feels needs to be told - warts, embarrassments, ecstasies and all - with no holds, literally, barred. It is the story of the early life of Dub Johnson, a.k.a.…  See more details below

Overview

Surviving Joy is the first novel in over ten years by J.P. Miller, the celebrated author of "Days of Wine and Roses," featuring a hugely likeable character whose story, for reasons peculiar to his origins, he feels needs to be told - warts, embarrassments, ecstasies and all - with no holds, literally, barred. It is the story of the early life of Dub Johnson, a.k.a. Tex Frontere, a mannish boy trying to find his way in and about Depression-era Houston, Texas. Dub, who is by turns a brilliant student, eager if naive lover and amateur prize-fighter, is in danger of losing himself in a passion that once seemed to promise the world. Her name is Joy, which is what she gives him - until her consuming desires threaten Dub, his hopes for the future, even his survival.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Miller, author of the Emmy-winning teleplay Days of Wine and Roses, paints an affecting portrait of life in Depression-era Houston, but his tale of mismatched young lovers rarely transcends the boundaries of the coming-of-age genre. Protagonist Dub Johnson is a plugger, a diligent teenager who gains admission to Rice University despite his family's poverty and the negative effects of a philandering, alcoholic father. But when adolescent sexuality rears its rambunctious head in the person of new-girl-in-town Joy Hurt, Dub loses both good judgment and common sense and embarks on an amateur boxing career to please his libidinous lover. The relationship between the upwardly mobile boy and the girl from the wrong side of the tracks is poignantly rendered, particularly during the novel's final third, as Dub disengages from the affair and Joy's excesses begin to get the best of her. Miller draws strong characters, and his period writing is equally graceful, especially the hardscrabble boxing scenes that adroitly reveal the disparities in the protagonists' backgrounds. But, unfortunately, too many scenes remain formulaic, and ultimately readers will find little here that hasn't been said before. (May)
Kathleen Hughes
This latest novel by the author of "The Days of Wine and Roses" is a poignant, witty tale of a young Texan's coming-of-age, set in Depression-era Houston. Dub Johnson, a restless college student, becomes involved with the local "bad girl," and they embark on a furiously sexual relationship. While he tries to keep his grades high and struggles to hide this all-consuming affair from his mother, he also wages another battle, this one against himself; while he knows he would never marry the girl and doesn't even really like her, he cannot withstand his desire for her. The stark, dusty Texas locale serves as a fitting backdrop for this tale of innocence and experience, cruelty and kindness, love and pathos. With a keen eye for detail, Miller's sometimes funny, sometimes sad story reaches its inevitable conclusion while gracefully avoiding mawkishness.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556114489
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
04/11/1995
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.51(w) x 9.31(h) x 1.04(d)

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