- Brodkey, Harold
The Runaway Soul
Farrar Straus & Giroux, New York, 1991, Half-Cloth, , , Very Good /Very Good
835 pp. 'Wiley Silenowicz is the hero, the narrator, and the controlling intelligence of Harold Brodkey's prodigious and enthralling novel. . . . Wiley's mind and imagination are lightning-quick, obsessively ruminative, alternately grandiose and self-doubting--one of the most sensitive registers of an individual's experience to be found in literature. We hear him meditating on his mother's overpowering nature and his father's seductiveness, on his sister's pathological jealousy and his own mystical yearning for oneness with the world. Later, in adolescence and young adulthood, we are with him as he test the various permutations of sexuality in ceaseless quest for love. Other people's voices resound in his head; ideas teem, converge, refract. Wiley is rash and shameless, tender and fearless, nothing human is alien to him in his search to unravel the nature of good and evil and its relation to himself and those he loves.'