Summary (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
The work of Adams offers his readers a powerful view of a United States in transition and artistically examines the struggles of idealistic people who, aware of their cultural legacy, are trying to come to terms with the immense challenge of a new century and era. His fiction succeeds in combining entertaining stories with greater moral and philosophical concerns that are still relevant. His two late masterpieces blend discussion of architectural wonders and a presentation of the author’s own life with fascinating reflections on the place of humanity in an ever-changing cosmos. Adams’s gentle, ironic voice never lets a reader’s interest lapse; it is full of wit and devoid of doctrine.