Marjorie Morningstar, by Herman Wouk
Marjorie Morningstar is so obtrusively doctrinal that most reviewers have plunged headlong into moral issues without so much as a by-your-leave to the literary quality of the book. Almost everyone senses that Marjorie is negligible as a novel, but judging by the newspapers and Time magazine, there seems to be a notion that Wouk has important things to say, important enough to make us overlook his defects. This is no easy matter, for the defects take a lot of overlooking. Here is an example of the indigestible prose Wouk’s admirers have to swallow:
“The redheaded singer Adele, with whom Marjorie shared her bungalow, dropped her patronizing air, offered her scotch from the bottle in her suitcase, and began confiding to her all the daily twists and turns in her affair with a waiter. The office-girl actresses, now that she was sleeping with Noel (as they thought), talked more freely about their love problems in her presence, as well as about the romances of other staff members.”
About the Author
Norman Podhoretz has been writing for COMMENTARY for 56 years.