Lon Tinkle

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 199

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Although sensational happenings occur on each of the three Mondays [in "The Day After Sunday"], no single character involved is fundamentally changed. The days may not resemble each other, but each personality remains fixed, unaltered by experience. This is how a certain life-style in Lexington, Ky. (the author seems to say) has made existence resistant to shock and change, incurably sterile and mediocre, forever bourgeois in its devotion to ritual.

For the handful of characters Mr. Summers fully develops in his condensed and concentrated novel, the virtues of this life-style far outweigh its poverties of spirit and intelligence. These people settle for comfort, a cabalistic force in their lives….

Clearly, their view of the Lexington life-style is not that of the author. He doesn't even impute the blame to Lexington. He has risked the toughest gamble for any novelist, to make mediocre and fundamentally unaware people interesting to the sophisticated mind. It is a measure of his power as a writer that he persuades us of the reality of these profoundly non-reflective characters as universal types.

Lon Tinkle, "Tomorrow and Tomorrow," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1968 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), July 21, 1968, p. 30.


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