Peter Straub

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 160

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Most novels which conceal a tract can be immediately sensed as dishonest, for they have little of the energising flow of discovery which marks the most authentic fiction—novels of ideas usually flatten out characterisation and schematise plot for the sake of the propagandising. Julius Horwitz's The Married Lovers is a rare and honourable exception: certainly as much essay as novel, it also reduces its characters to examples (and has almost no plot at all …), but the book solves the problem by meeting it head-on. Horwitz makes the brave choice of turning most of the novel over to monologue. The subject is the nature and survival of marriage; and his point is that marriage represents escape from fear…. The Married Lovers has a felt depth and solidity: though not really a successful novel, it is a successful and moving human statement.

Peter Straub, "Hot & Cold," in New Statesman (© 1974 The Statesman & Nation Publishing Co. Ltd.), Vol. 88, No. 2276, November 1, 1974, p. 627.∗

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