Books: Pilgrim's Regress

ALINSKY'S DIAMOND

by TOM McHALE

335 pages. Lippincott. $8.95.

Perhaps every good young writer should be allowed a book like this one. Still it is a notable disappointment. Three years ago, McHale published two exhilarating novels in quick succession: Principato and Farragan's Retreat. In both he revealed wild comic gusto, a youthful, vengeful rage at certain vagaries of the Roman Catholic Church, and a visceral knowledge of middle-class Irish and Italians around Philadelphia and the Jersey shore. McHale was never a stylist; he made up in energy what he lacked in elegance.

In Alinsky's Diamond...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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