|About the Book|
I have been praising a number of John Hersey novels, with an exception of The Child Buyer. Unfortunately, Too Far to Walk does not live up to the praise I have given many of Herseys other works.It seems to be a novel about the apathy (or spoildness) of young people. They have it all, yet are bored and try drugs, and cant be motivated, etc. And it could have been OK if it stayed that route. But Hersey adds in a distracting and strange supernatural element to this, that is so discordant with any social commentary, that it left me distracted, annoyed and badly surprised.The novel focuses on an middle-upper class student, John Fist, at a good eastern university. And he is bored and finds the sanctimonious taint to the staff exceedingly dull.Now first off, Herseys portrayal of college students seems WAY off. So much so that I would call it BS. But John Fist is his caricature of this type of student. And he gets tempted to try life a different way. No, he does not do drugs, or rebel by becoming a hippie (this book was written first published in 66) or go for free love.No, John Fist is tempted by another student that is really Satan in disguise, gets him to sign a contract with him, and then, pretty much, nothing happens except John Fist does stupid things.Really? That is what this book is? Look, if Hersey did not like the attitudes of young people in that age, that is fine, write a socially relevant novel. But this is not that novel. If he wants to write a supernatural novel about dealing with temptation, write it, but this is not that novel either. It is an extremely bad synthesis of the two, and it just does not work.There are many very fine works by John Hersey...this is not one of them.