All We Need of Hell

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9780060156800: All We Need of Hell
From Publishers Weekly:

Crews's 10th novel (after Gospel Singer describes the frustrated rage that possesses inept lawyer Duffy Deeter, who seeks heart's ease through a bizarre physical fitness regimen. His life is further complicated by a gum-chewing mistress, once a Woodrow Wilson Fellow; a wife with naturally silver hair who is as glacial as the North Pole; an overweight adolescent son; a law partner who has been making time with Mrs. Deeter; a mother whose belfry doesn't have 12 chimes for midnight; and a black professional athlete. What binds these aberrant types together in a compelling narrative is a remarkable gift for incisive language: Duffy's father, a World War II fighter pilot, "bit the big bagel"; "gold was good, a commodity that always gave the same answer"; and, "In the nation of the heart, there's war enough for everybody." That Duffy finds salvation is the most surprising twist of all.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Crews once wrote in Playboy about the joys of getting beaten up. Now comes Duffy Deeter, also of Gainesville, Florida, also husband and father, also believing "there was nothing so refreshing as getting your ass kicked." Deeter's athleticism would seem to offer little prospect of reconciling him with his distracted mother, his boy ("a huge, soft, white slug"), or his wife, who has become frigid (except with Deeter's law partner). Luckily, Deeter gets into a fight with black pro-footballer Tump Walker; they become fast friends and Walker is soon putting things to rights in the Deeter household. Crews and Deeter are to be congratulated for their suspicion that there might be a better way to live, but sincerity undermines satire and slapstick. The result is not likely to please Crews's old audience nor find him a new one. Hugh M. Crane, Brockton P.L, Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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