by Frank Parker Day
Through it all there's the admirable character of David. He takes his hard knocks and comes through it. He survives shipwreck and debilitating injury, he doesn't stand in his best friends' way when they desire the same future. I thought it a bit far-stretched that this man could start reading Shakespeare's The Tempest shortly after learning how to read- but it made a nice allegory in the story. I almost didn't get into this book because at first the dialogue written in local slang really threw me off, but before long I was caught up in the narrative. There are some other disjointed parts in the beginning where the author suddenly tells what one character will do years ahead of the present storyline- and then jumps back into the flow- but after that it goes on fairly linear.
The afterword by Gwendolyn Davies is pretty interesting- it tells about the author's life and research, how the book was first published and its initially poor reception. Apparently the author had visited the fishing community on an island called Ironbound, to learn about the local culture. The inhabitants were offended when the book was finally published- though called fictional, they said it portrayed them in a bad light as being ignorant and crude. The book met strong disfavor and was out of print for over forty years, finally being reprinted in 1973.
Rating: 3/5 328 pages, 1928
Jules' Book Reviews