I guess this book was pushing the edges of decency in 1960 for a mainstream book, although that couldn't have lasted for very long.
My question is what would Harry (nicknamed Rabbit) be diagnosed with today? ADHD almost certainly. He couldn't complete things, he jumped from one thing to another, his attention was all over the place --- unless he entered the zone, like he did when playing exceptional basketball. So Harry is always looking for that zone again, for his teenage success. That ADHD behavior, and that search for the zone is where he stays, only without the success. He also seemed to suffer some delusional thinking, beyond that magical thinking that children have. He was vastly immature, but that didn't explain it all. In some ways he wanted to do the right thing but he was so impatient and so self-centered that he would get in a snit and off he would go, either leaving physically or being unkind or both. His one area of success as an adult was with 2 year old Nelson (except for running off for 2 months), but when he was with Nelson his behavior became patient and mature, he wasn't a bad father.
Now his wife Janice is a different story although she is also immature, child-like. She has very low self-esteem and is an alcoholic. She relies on other people, most of all her husband. Her family gets her through the first time he leaves, but the second time they are too late and tragedy happens. Her strength disappears when her husband walks out the door and she turns to alcohol. Why her husband couldn't see her weakness (he actually did know she was an alcoholic but not what that meant in consequences) and realize that he had to take care of her like a child - well I guess he was too much of strutting teenager (although he was 24) to see it. He just thought she was "dumb".
This book reminded me of John Irving's writing, although I don't know if anyone else would think that.
Maybe this book is meant to be a warning; kids don't have kids, your life is over once you have kids so don't expect it to be about you anymore.
Released 2 yrs ago (9/22/2012 UTC) at Donated to Library Book Sale in Pendleton, Oregon USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Releasing to the Pendleton Friends of the Library book sale.
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