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Stein, David Lewis.

Toronto, Macmillan, c1984. 237pp, cloth, $19.95, ISBN 0-7715-9801-7. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Clare A. Darby

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

David Lewis Stein, a journalist by trade, is the author of five books, including Scratch One Dreamer and The Hearing. In The Golden Age Hotel, Stein illustrates the journalist's talent for getting the story; in fact, this novel is really a collection of ten individual stories held together by the story of Lily and Stan Monteith, the "owners" of this Long Island resort hotel for seniors. The use of the hotel as a vehicle reminds one somewhat of Chaucer's pilgrimage, for both authors use a pretext to introduce us to some captivating characters in a seemingly acceptable manner. Moreover, Stein's characters are on a pilgrimage of their own, the journey through old age to death. The problem with a collection of stories approach has always been how to dispel the episodic nature and impression it produces. Unfortunately, neither author succeeds in doing this. Moreover, Stein fails to provide the proper motivation and background for all his characters and so the novel's ending is less than convincing. Still, the writing is clear, the settings are effectively reproduced, the subject matter is topical, and some of the comedy has a Chaucerian ring to it.

Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks S.H.S., Summerside, P.E.I.
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