Item description for The Street of Four Winds by Andrew Lazarus...
The Street of Four Winds: Andrew Lazarus has created a masterful tale of love and young people searching for themselves. Paris - just after World War II, a rare time when the city still cast its eternal spell over young people in love with life, each other and their longings to express themselves. But it was also a time of political ferment, something very different from the pre-war days of irresponsible, half-vast expatriates. In the centuries-old Left Bank section of the city Americans were seeking a way to express their dreams, delights and disappointments.
Having survived a grim wartime bout with death, we find Tom Cortell, a tough, intellectual journalist disarmed by three women - French, British and American - finally learing the truer meaning of love from the beautiful American, Ellen Cassidy. Along with him is a gallery of international characters, including Bill Watson, a bitter Chicago black artist; promiscuous Joyce Frost who's escaping from Britian's Midlands; serious, bi-sexual Buck Birnbaum and his driving intellectual ambitions; the mixed-up veteran and poet Fred Furness; and Irene, an exotic Russian girl from Morocco whose French Communist brother-in-law teaches Tom something he will never forget. They all lead a merry and sometimes desperate chase between Paris, Switzerland and Spain to a final liberating and often tragic end of their European wanderings in search of themselves.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 6.34" Height: 0.84" Weight: 0.77 lbs.
Publisher Durban House Publishing
ISBN 1930754213 ISBN13 9781930754218
Reviews - What do customers think about The Street of Four Winds?
Four Winds, Three Stars Jun 9, 2003
By Bill Marsano. Americans in Paris--certainly there's no shortage of literature on that theme. The post-World Wat I "lost generation" of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and others produced work of their own and inspired others to ramble incessantly about them and their world. But another generation of Americans in Paris has been rather neglected--the crowd that occupied Paris post-World War II.
They come back to us in this annoying but compulsively readable first novel. Annoying because there are lots of faults here: inefficient plotting, excessive explication, contradictory or even impenetrable motivation--all the sins first-novelists commit in their desperate and unnerving struggle to juggle their way to the end of the tale. Compulsively readable because this author is no callow youth but a seasoned world traveler who writes of youth--mostly misspent--through the filter of mature years.
The characters are young and tolerable only to the young--smug would-be intellectuals ready to change the world, scholars desperate for something to be scholarly about, arty types with too much angst and too little talent, emotionally vacant bed-fellows good only at getting between the sheets (the terms "emotionally unavailable" and "fear of committment" were yet to be dreamt-up) and earnest college girls eager and even desperate to bury their midwestern roots with spadefuls of Parisian sophistication. They interact feverishly, emptily and destructively and are helpless to do otherwise: They are young and powerful; they are privileged and they have it all--and they don't know it. They do each other a lot of damage before learning any lessons.
What drives this book is the truth of these these people. They are as real as the Paris Lazarus so well describes (he clearly knows it as well as he loves it). And we share in the author's distant perspective of regret. Every mature reader will come face to face with painful memories of his own youthful foolery here, and if it's no worse than foolery, he'll count himself lucky.
And maybe we can forgive ourselves in time "Youth is wasted on the young," Gorge Bernard Shaw said truly. Someone else said, just as truly, that it's better to waste your youth than do nothing with it at all.