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September 16, 1973 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-09-16

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Page Eight

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, September 16, 1973

PageEigt TE MIHIGN DILY undy, epteber16,197

U

'Sooner
STARTING OVER, By Dan. ling a
Wakefield. New York: Delacorte isn't
Press, 290 pages, $7.95. tends
its wi
Pow. Dan Wakefield says that matter
an enduring romantic relation- sencer
ship is impossible, even for a scare
bright, witty, articulate, hand- Wak
some, educated man in his ear- with
ly thirties. That notion is terri- apolis,
fying to me, perhaps partly be- ative
cause a long relationship I had country
been in-and even in rocky flat an
times thought would endure - career
has fractured. ably S
War),
But it is more than thiat, for His
Wakefield is arresting, compel- Way-N

or

later*

it

nd believable. His prose
particularly polished, it
towards cliche-and is at
orst ungrammatical. No
: the message is the es-
here, and it is bound to
almost anyone. a
efield went to high school
Kurt Vonnegut in Indian-
and became another cre-
voice in a part of, the
y best known for being
nd dull. After a successful
in nonfiction (most not-
upernation at Peace and
he turned to fiction.
first effort-Going All the
-as a beautifully evoked

tale of sex and getting by in In-
dianapolis during the post-Korean
War fifties. The protagonist is a
sad, pimply kid named Sonny
who returns from the war with
no more confidence of perspec-
tive than when he left. Inability
to score with a slew of women is
simply a metaphor for his fail-
ure to take any control over his
life.
THE PROTAGONIST in Start-
ing Over is, by outward appear-
ances, radically changed - but
the message is finally no more
'ptimistic. Phil Potter, a man
with everything, marries young

Won't
-a bright and beautiful girl-
launches himself on a successful1
New York advertising career,f
and then suddenly it crumbles.
The magic vanishes, and he gets -
divorced, on the road already to
a predictable syndrome of half-
baked relationships.-
The vision is summed up by
Marilyn Crenshaw, Potter's firstj
new love, in a truthful moment1
when their relationship seems
warmest and strongest: "Soon-t
er or later it won't be," she says.
In Wakefield's first novel,
"scoring" was the ultimate goal.
By Starting Over-ironically in
the liberated seventies-sex has
become too often a deterrent to
a relationship. Automatically ex-
pected, it is used unsuccessfully 1
to substitute for meaningful
communication.1
ATTRACTED to Marilyn as a
person, Potter tries to avoid a
sexual showdown after their
first date. No such luck, for Mar-'
ilyn is offended and Potter rea-
sons bleakly: ". . . invited to
perform, a man had to perform
..do his duty."

be
Marilyn's prognosis co
before long, and fror
friends in the struggle,
are off in search of ev
ceivable kind of relatio
soften the wrenching r
aloneness they consun
mous quantities of a
pitchers. of martinis, vi
laced with scotch, spi
fee, chablis, cognac, D
Bloody Marys-enough
do in the best of livers.
BETWEEN DRINKIN
-for Potter's part-th
young girls, old women,
tions, obsessive monoga
ibacy, orgies of indul
and finally numbness.
dictably there are the at
but ultimately failed sed
the seventies. marijuan
py groups, existentialis
baked psychoanalysis.
Toward the end, the r
gins to drag just a bit.
clusion is predictable,
seems unnecessarily cru
on the examples. Marily
gun again seeing a mar
in what had long ago be

fine..'
mes true lished as a dead-end relation-
n there, ship. Potter meets a sweet,
the two pretty but vacuous southern belle,
very con- and, fascinated by the old-style
nship. To courtship she demands, falls in
eality of love after two weeks. He asks
ne enor- her to marry him and she ac-
lcohol - cepts.
chyssoise By then, however, the pattern
ked cof- has been established. Potter
rambuie, misses his vows at the wedding
booze to when he becomes distracted by a
pretty young thing walking along
4G bouts the beach outside the church
here are window.
odd posi- STARTING OVER is finally a-
imy, cel- novel of familiar events. Anyone
gence - who envisions that one till-death-
And pre- do-us part relationship, who has
tempted, seen a long relationship splinter
latives of mysteriously, who merely won-
a, thera- ders about love and monogamy is
sm, half- bound to be touched by this book.
For better or for worse.

Mon., Sept. 17
Tue.,. Sept. 18
Thu., Sept. 20

5:00-7:00 P.M.
If crowded we may
have to limit your
time to 45 minutes

PLAY POOL FREE
MICHIGAN UNION BILLIARD ROOM

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Hear the shrink who wrote
THE KINK AND I rap lightly on
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JAMES MALLORY, M.D., Psychiatrist
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1001 E. HURON-Near the Power Center

r

Ca mpaign

'72:

Dr.

Tr

Cu ts J
FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE
CAMPAIGN TRAIL '72, by Hun-
ter S. Thompson. San Francis-
Co; Straight Arrow, 505 pages,
$7.95.
Hunter Thompson rides hard
on the outer edge of sanity: jit-
tery, drugged, writing like he
lives-with all the electric en-
ergy of a rabid whippet on the
trail of a haughty siamese cat.
He rambles in some heightened
state of lucid inebriation, pluck-,
ing unexpected bits of wisdom
from the air and laying them
stark and naked before often
awed readers. His style, bound
up inextricably in his message,
is at once folksy beer-joint con-
versation andkdelicately crafted
prose.
THOMPSON'S latest project_
is a loosely organized collection
of essays which were filed for
Rolling Stone-approximately bi-
weekly during the 1972 presiden-
tial campaign. At that point-

rin down
IT IS THAT style, applied
now to the pomp, puff, and cir-
cumstance of presidential poli-
tics, which makes Thompson's
latest book such a coup. He cuts
to the marrow, writing graphic-
ally about the lies, deception and
hypocrisy," which, as Watergate
has finally shown the world, were
at the heart of the '72 campaign.
His is a book which confirms -
at once hilariously and tragically
-all the worst fears you ever
had about elections and politi-
cians.
While most campaign Wizards
(as Thompson calls them) wrote
press releases and offered half-

to sitze
there are times when the reader
just can't know-but that is just
Thompson's point.
Objective reporting, he reasons,
is doomed since reporters are
fed information selectively by
candidates and their aides. Sel-
dom can newsmen get much be-
yond the pap, and the best evi-
dence is the near-complete fail-
ure of the prestigious White House
press.corps to uncover the Nixon
administration lies about Water-
gate.
THOMPSON SEESAWS through
the campaign between sheer
boredom (".. . the nut of it is
that covering this presidential

novel be-
The con-
and it
el to pile
n has be-
ried man
en estab-

Today's writer..
Tony Schwartz is Sunday Edi-
tor of The Daily, a Hunter
Thompson addict and, despite
all, an unfailing romantic.

1

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"He cuts to the marrow . .. his is a book
which confirms, hilariously and tragically, all
the worst fears you ever had about elections
and politicians . ..
.....^::>"::"'"k :""}::}}::"::".""h.................. . . .:::. .".""::.":..."""..".. . . ":.) . } . "::sv::::.":. :v.::::" :Y.::i".:""":i" .".i"

b
0
0
k
s

baked analyses of "moods" and
"trends," Thompson summed up
situations with gems like these:
* "There is no way to grasp
what a shallow, contemptible and
hopelessly dishonest old hack
Hubert Humphrey really is un-'
til you've followed. him around
for a while on the Campaign
Trail."
* "George Wallace is one of
the worst charlatans ip politics,
but there is no denying his tal-
ent for converting frustration
into energy."
0 On the early rush of support
for Muskie: "It did him about as
much good as a notarized en-
dorsement from Martin Bor-
mann."
" In a moment of consummate
despair: "How low do you have
to stoop to be president in this
country?"
THOMPSON'S BOOK is laced
with its share of fiction, some ob-
vious and some not-so-obvious.
He floats off into wild fantasies
of conversations that might have
been, flatly accuses NBC's John
Chancellor of popping LSD, Ed
Muskie of being strung out on the
mysterious drug Ibogaine. And

campaign is so dull it's barely
tolerable") and excited intoxica-
tion ("there is a fantastic adren-
alin high that comes with total
involvement in almost any kind
of fast moving political campaign
-especially when you're running
against big odds and start to
feel like a winner.")
It is for Thompson's highs, his
incredible anecdotes, his piercing
on-the-mark descriptions, that the
reader tolerates the man's al-
most complete self-indulgence
and his excessive length. Occa-
sionally it gets out of hand, as in
the current Rolling Stone, where
Thompson Writes about John
Dean's Watergate testimony two
months after the fact, having
watched most of it on the tube.
But mostly it's worth it. To
survive, Thompson must pat him-
self on the back and catalogue
his personal miseries.
ART BUCHWALD is irrever-
rent. By contrast Dr. Hunter S.
Thompson-a man who never
takes himself too seriously-is a
wild dog. And that's just about
what it took to make any sense
out of the 1972 presidential cam-
paign.

and again now, after a long va-
cation-he held the 'satirically
imperious title of "National Af-
fairs Editor" for the magazine.1
This book comes on the heels
of Thompson's wildly successful
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,
a : drug-crazed journey into the
world of car racing, nares and
the city of sordid sin. Before that
it was Hell's Angels: The Strange
and Terrible Saga of an Outlaw
Motorcycle Gang, a less-than
peaches 'n cream account of a
year he spent writing with the
California crazies.
He wound up lying in a pool of
his own blood after getting on
the wrong side of a couple of An-
gels and tried then to put his fin-
ger on What It All Meant; he
conjured up a now-typical in-
stant analysis. ConcludedhThomp-
son: "Exterminate the Bas-
tards."

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