Books: Liberal's Crackup

DIDMAN by John Speicher. 262 pages. Harper & Row. $6.95.

The haunted WASP protagonists of John Speicher's novels seem to have a fatal weakness for social causes they cannot call their own. In Looking for Baby Paradise, a young Ivy League Lancelot risks life and sanity as a youth-recreation worker among the warring street gangs of New York's Washington Heights. Now in Didman, Speicher's second novel, an alcoholic publishing executive loses himself in a black-militant plan to attack the New York Stock Exchange.

What makes Joe Didman's plight so relevant is that he finally recognizes his own historical irrelevance. Didman's liberal conscience...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!