Ellen Lewis Buell

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 168

A writer who is deeply concerned with the thornier problems of teen-agers, Henry Gregor Felsen follows up his "Hot Rod" published three years ago with another story of the young buckos of the road ["Street Rod"]. Like the earlier story this is almost as much tract as fiction. Mr. Felsen is not a subtle writer, but he does make us understand the urge for speed and power which sends Ricky Maitland and thousands like him careening down the highways in their souped-up bombs….

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The end of his story breaks all the conventions of the junior novel in its uncompromising tragedy. Plausible as a headline, this still seems out of key with the note of hope which Mr. Felsen offers in his argument for the timing associations, but it certainly has a shock value which ought to make even a hot-rodder stop—and think.

Ellen Lewis Buell, "Speed Happy," in The New York Times Book Review, Part II (© 1953 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), September 6, 1953, p. 13.

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