Henry Gregor Felsen Ralph Adams Brown - Essay

Ralph Adams Brown

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Davey Logan, Interne] is the story of a tough, stubborn farm boy who on the night that his mother died for lack of a doctor determined to be one…. Above all, it is the story of his interneship and a chain of unusual and dramatic circumstances that led to his return to practise medicine in the country village near his boyhood farm.

Mr. Felsen's book is not labeled "vocational fiction," but it does give the reader a good deal of insight into the training and problems of a young doctor. More often, it describes the struggle over values that is so often faced by young people in any vocation.

Ralph Adams Brown, "Books for Young People: 'Davey Logan, Interne'," in The Saturday Review of Literature (copyright © 1950 by Saturday Review; all rights reserved; reprinted by permission), Vol. XXXIII, No. 32, August 12, 1950, p. 33.

[Two and the Town] is a courageous book—to write, to publish. While not wholly successful in the handling, the subject is dealt with honestly, forthrightly, only the people in the background are shadowy and weak…. Elaine and Buff, high school sweethearts, caught in the emotional aftermath of a crucial football game lost, succumb to the spell of mutual physical attraction, and are caught. Forced into marriage at too early an age, ostracized, compelled to readjust to a future which only they can solve, Elaine proves herself mature, while it takes Buff a stint in the Marines to see the error of his childish impetuosity, and to face up to his responsibilities. The situation is treated as if boys were not alone in being bundles of impulses; girls have overpowering emotions too. Here neither one comes off blameless. Felsen has drawn his situations and his main characters sharply, with suspense; there is good healthy tension in the football game and the town's hysterical response, in the session Buff faces with his father, and so on. Only in the minor characters and the background does he fail to come alive. A book to watch.

"Fiction for Young Adults: 'Two and the Town'," in Virginia Kirkus' Bookshop Service, Vol. XX, No. 1, January 1, 1952, p. 5.