PHILIP DOSSICK

Peaches and Plumbs Booksellers

Vandover and the Brute

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cover.jpg

Vandover and the Brute

5.89

Vandover and the Brute is a tale of self-inflicted damage, and the ravages of syphilis.

Young Vandover, a Harvard-educated man-about-town whose chief traits are a lack of ambition and a sense of entitlement, is a San Francisco native who wastes every advantage his privileged life presents to him.

Succumbing to his inner "brute," he gradually descends the rungs of civilized life, losing first his status in "proper" society, then his wealth and integrity whilst his friends all prosper.

Eventually he is transformed by a strange degenerative lycanthropy, reduced to running back and forth across his apartment, naked, and on his hands and knees.

Vandover and the Brute resonates with power, and as a literary achievement it stands as one of Frank Norris' greatest works and one of the acknowledged masterpieces of American literary naturalism.

FRANK NORRIS (1870-1902) was an American novelist and journalist and a leader of the Naturalism movement. He believed that a novel should serve a moral purpose. "The novel with a purpose," he explained, "brings the tragedies and griefs of others to notice" and "prove(s) that injustice, crime, and inequality do exist." Norris's affinity for exposing the "whole truth, and nothing but," found a broader scope than this. To the best kind of modern literature, "belongs the wide world for range, and the unplumbed depths of the human heart, and the mystery of sex, and the problems of life, and the black, unsearched penetralia of the soul of man." Norris died of peritonitis following acute appendicitis. He was thirty-two years old.

 

 

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