Full Fathom Five by Carter, John Stewart
Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, the narrator in this distinguished novel perceives early that the course lies behind him with the first landmarks in the identity of his dead and beloved physician father. - Thus he approaches obliquely the many-peopled past: his glittering grandmother and her opera star lover; his robber baron grandfather who bejeweled her; his father's brothers as children and then as men with wives and children of their own; his own cousin Corinne who pales the Scott Fitzgerald girls; most of all, his father as father and as husband and as man, a figure of splendid reassurance and tender presence. This is a novel so original as to tempt the forbidden adjective "unique." In its cunningly conceived design, symbolized by the magic boxes of the jacket drawing, there is return upon return, no detail too small to be seen again from another stance of person, place or time. It has, however, that quality common to all great fiction, the creation of time as a physical reality into which the reader enters. Through the narrator's remembrance of things past, his reader comes to know the "continuing present." In this book, as "rich and strange" as any jewel on the ocean floor, John Stewart Carter has produced "the shimmer of continuing life"; his readers will indeed "breathe his words" for him and remember his heart's blood.