From the jacket: The Tents of Wickedness By Peter De Vries. Charles Swallow fancies himself a Marquand sort of hero, but the flashback touched off by the reappearance of an old girl friend turns out to be pure Faulkner. It concerns a childhood incident in a coalbin, too obvious for words, but related with hilarious obscurity. To get Sweetie Appleyard off his moral doorstep, he tries another literary tack, the Scott Fitzgerald; but she goes a little farther as a Free Spirit than he had intended, when he undertook her re-education, and before he knows it she is persuading him to father a child for her out of wedlock. Proust, Graham Greene, Dreiser, Thurber, Hemingway are all sent in in turn, like substitutes from a bench, to save the day - but it's no good. Pregnant, the rebel folds in the stretch, leaving our hero holding the bag in a fine Kafka nightmare indeed. A Joycean delirium climaxes a literary revel also strewn with mimicries of modern poets from Emily Dickinson to Dylan Thomas, in the form of samples of the rather derivative verse Sweetie writes. Written in a dozen styles, this is a gem of parody as well as another narrative treat by "the most reliably funny comic novelist now at large" (ORVILLE PRESCOTT, New York Times). In addition to being a riotous satire of Symbolism and "advanced literature," THE TENTS OF WICKEDNESS packs a sly moral: that nonconformists, rather than transcending convention, aren't quite up to it. Peter De Vries's new novel employs four of the main characters of COMFORT ME WITH APPLES in a work which not only is the author's finest and funniest to date, but, in its rotation of major contemporary styles, brings off a refreshing experiment in form.
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Book Description Little Brown, 1959. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111125718722