Friday, October 23, 2020

Review: Cassidy's Girl

Cassidy's Girl Cassidy's Girl by David Goodis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although the character types and the setting are completely different, the knock-down drag-out verbal (and physical) battles between the men and women characters in this David Goodis novel had me continuously visualizing Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton from that great movie based on the Edward Albee play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. So that is a big part of this novel: the characters guzzle booze and fight. The other part of the novel is Cassidy's arc. He's a disgraced airline pilot who crashed a plane and is now driving a bus for a "living." After a boozy brawl with his buxom wife he dumps her for an alcoholic waif. Cassidy should be watching out for the woman scorned, but isn't. Fights with her lover instead and then foolishly lets the guy on his bus, in the seat behind his driver's seat, with a flask of booze. Can you see what is coming? On the run, helped by friends doing more harm than good, Cassidy can't stop thinking about saving the alcoholic waif and his wrong decisions keep stacking up. Enter stage left, his scorned and vengeful wife. And so it goes. The dialogue gets a bit repetitive at times but Goodis also portrays these self destructive lives with some beautiful prose.

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