"You Can't Get There From Here" … is Joe's punchline. "It's too late." Joe is a radio comedy writer whose profession has become obsolete, which is just one of the reasons he has gone A.W.O.L. from his home in Brooklyn Heights with a bad case of "the dooms" and with his 16-year-old son Wes in close pursuit.
You can't get to New York from Mr. Hamner's directions either. The Manhattan through which young Wes hunts for his father is a far cry from the Blue Ridge Virginia the author described so well in "Spencer's Mountain." For the most part, it's real Oz country, inhabited by charming characters…. This is the New York that Robert Nathan invented, and if you can take your mind off the smog and the uproar of the city long enough to believe in Wes's innocence and his father's saintliness, it's not a bad place to visit. (p. 32)
Martin Levin, in The New York Times Book Review (© 1965 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), June 20, 1965.