Better Than Laughter
Out of ideas for the holidays?
Visit our Gift Guides and find our recommendations on what to get friends and family during the holiday season. Shop now .
- Hardback | 154 pages
- 144.78 x 205.74 x 22.86mm | 362.87g
- 15 Aug 1972
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
- United Kingdom
Looking for beautiful books?
Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more. Shop now .
Bored with "crummy old civilization" and disgusted with their striving suburban parents, Sam and Allan decide to run away to the California hills, taking their Schwinn bikes and expensive fishing equipment along. En route they meet eccentric, lonely Horace Butright, the aged attendant of the Redwood County Dump, who has devoted his life to the loving reconstruction of discarded antiques and dreaming of the good old days (which, for him at least, never existed since flashbacks reveal that he was an abandoned orphan). An immediate (and symbolic) rapport develops between these representatives of two alienated generations and when their father's bulldozers show up to turn the dump into a marina the boys pitch in on Horace's side - hurling rockets and fireballs at the evictors in a futile gesture of rebellion. The indictment of technocracy is framed in terms more sentimental than rational (and Thelma, the black maid who cheers the boys' defiance with a cry of "right on," is barely credible), yet the contrasting aspects of frustration, personified in Horace and the boys with an above-average degree of stylistic finesse, prove an emotionally explosive combination. (Kirkus Reviews)