Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In the literary circles of Powell's (1897-1965) post-WW II Manhattan, ``art is a cigarette ad,'' money and insincerity go hand-in-hand, a friend is an opportunity to talk about oneself,stet comma for clarity/pk and the word identifying what lovers do for each other is ``punish.'' Frederick Olliver, a poor and introverted medievalist, loves Lyle Gaynor, married socialite and successful playwright. But each mistakes every offer of affection for malice, and eventually takes on the worst aspects of the other's character, reversing socioeconomic standing as well. This long-out-of-print novel, first published in 1948, displays Powell's ear for incriminating dialogue and gift for comic exaggeration, but her pacing is as inexorable as that of a factory, mass-producing ironic situations until the reader is no longer amused. The cynicism fuelling Powell's wit is undercut by the ultimate romanticism of her plot. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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