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Open Heart

By (author) Frederick Buechner
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Vintage Publishing, London, United Kingdom
Imprint: Chatto & Windus
Published: 31st Oct 1972
Dimensions: w 140mm h 220mm
Weight: 475g
ISBN-10: 0701119160
ISBN-13: 9780701119164
Barcode No: 9780701119164

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Kirkus US
Remember evangelist Leo Bebb whose HOLY LOVE (the neon cross with the double-duty O) was the crux of Buechner's inviting Lion Country (1971)? This is a further, deeper look into Leo - a Gantry grafted with elements of Genet? a geniefied southern huckster? - taken sidelong past a book's worth of action if not precisely a plot. The viewer is Antonio Parr, who became Bebb's son-in-law in the attempt to expose his seedy operation; and the doings now commence with Bebb's move north to found the new Open Heart tabernacle (a double-duty E) with a legacy from his pungent late Indian patron Herman Redpath. A certain mysterious, perhaps angelic Mr. Golden moves too; Bebb's skinny, spike-heeled wife teeters off in a fog of gin fumes and crazy innuendoes; and Parr, who's been distracted by Bebb's affairs, stumbles onto one of his wife's, with his teen-aged nephew. But it's not so much what happens or even how as to whom. Buechner's characters have a dazzling hyper-reality that can authenticate just about any outlandishness; and all the incidents enhance that reality with suggestions of more than could ever meet the eye. This balances on the hyphen of tragi-comedy and is an entirely satisfying entertainment. (Kirkus Reviews)