Like So Many Of Woolf S Odysseys Into The Heart Of America S Subcultures, Wall To Wall Traces A Modern Ulysses In Reverse From A West Coast Asylum Where He Works As An Attendant To A Boston Asylum Where He Visits His Mother, Claude Squires Views Roadside America From Its Weak Side The Tough Underbelly Of The Southwest, Tucson, The Rio Grande, Nogales, The Border Before Thrusting Himself Into Okie S Sacred Shrine, Oklahoma City, And Into The Staid Eastern Corridor That Ends In Boston Claude S Vehicle Is A 59 Thunderhead, A Female Beast, Which His Father, A Used Car Dealer In L.A., Has Commissioned Him To Deliver To Oklahoma City And Like All Of Woolf S Cars, The Thunderhead Is A She, A Domineering Companion In Claude S Cross Country Picaresque Flight Of Passage In Wall To Wall Woolf S View Is Evocative And Is Very Much His Own First Published By Grove Press In 1962, Wall To Wall Has Been An Underground Classic For Over Thirty Five Years, A Comic And Satiric Masterpiece. So here s a fine little just barely Beat era novel and that s Beat not Beatnik that I polished off I like the occasional shift to straighter Lit to cleanse my genre palate and occasionally remind me of what writing about human beings, thinking human thoughts and living lives as opposed to being locked into genre expectations of forward moving plots, likeable characters, and evoking whatever elements that particular genre calls for reads and feels like And, when it s good, it feels like being reminded of some larger scope, some brighter light, some higher skyTo be avoided by those who require any of the above mentioned expectations or those who are unable to place writing in a particular time period, place of origin and generational view and thus understanding that a mindset is being sketched, an attempt to capture particular thoughts and opinions during the quick change of the 20th Century.Claude Squires, restless war veteran, quits his job as an orderly at a West Coast mental institution, visits his sister Claudine, visits his father an up and coming local celebrity nicknamed The Cat , the charismatic owner of an enormous used car operation an excellent sequence and negotiates to drive a bright red 59 Thunderhead to its owner in Oklahoma, stopping along the way to visit an old flame now desperately trapped in a go nowhere life in Arizona another great series of sequences, capturing the 50 s and the feelings ofBeat restlessness and
I ve read this twice now It s a quick read, and interesting I can t say it held any revelations that changed my life for better or worse, but it was a fun book to read I will probably pick it up again to see what I missed the first two times.
- 190 pages
- Wall to Wall
- Douglas Woolf
- 22 May 2018 Douglas Woolf