Carol Rumens

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 122

Sole Survivor is the third volume in Maurice Gee's New Zealand saga of the Plumb family. The rise and fall of Duggie Plumb, an ambitious politician, is charted in tones of limpid irony by his cousin, the journalist Raymond Sole, known more familiarly as Raymond or R. Sole. Duggie's wily ruthlessness may originate in childhood trauma (hysterical mother, philandering father), but the point is not laboured; Gee, notwithstanding the raw pun of the title, is a writer of great subtlety….

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[Gee's] style is abrupt, nervy, vivid, and the book moves along swiftly, preferring the resonance of the verb to that of the adjective.

Carol Rumens, "Eros and Thanatos in Alex," in The Observer (reprinted by permission of The Observer Limited), October 23, 1983, p. 32.∗

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