Whistle Stop


By Maritta M. WolfRANDOM HOUSE

THE story of a raffish American family going to the dogs in a way at first rather amusing to watch. The book won the Avery Hopwood Award in fiction a year ago and the publishers would credit it with a ‘provincial’ significance, but this is far-fetched. For a clan as coarse, improvident and debased as the Veech family is representative of only a single element in American life, and that degeneracy. Kenny Veech, lecherous, disloyal, a killer in the making, is the darling of the brood and as the other members of the family react to his degeneration, you have the book. In single episodes and in the coarse colloquialism of her dialogue the author shows her considerable facility, but before the story has passed the midpoint we begin to feel how thin and slattern is its material and how monotonous the telling for want of relief. E. W.