Slam the Big Door

Slam the Big Door

Rating

7.5

The Pequod Review:

John D. MacDonald's Slam the Big Door is a Florida country club drama, in which a recent widower visits his friend who seemingly has everything, only to find out he doesn't. If the book’s resolution fails to live up to its promising opening, MacDonald’s character backgrounds and descriptions of quotidian scenes have never been better. Here he introduces one of the two main characters:

He was a sturdy man, Mike Rodenska, who couldn’t stop lying a little bit about his height, and felt disappointed in himself whenever he caught himself in the lie, because he despised all forms of deceit. He was half-bald, with a fleshy nose and a solid thrust of jaw. There was a wryness and a gentleness about him, particularly evident in the brown eyes, deeply set under a grizzle of brow. He had been Tory and Mary Jamison’s house-guest for the past five days of perfect Florida weather, and he had used the beach opposite the house with such diligence that the new deep red-brown tan over a natural swarthiness disguised the softness of all his years of newspaper work.

Here Mike begins to realize his pal’s marriage may be in trouble:

Mike was left alone in the morning sun, thinking about Troy’s second wife, and Troy’s first wife, and how you always knew when the flavor of marriage was not just right. This one was not just right, and it could be permanent wrong or temporary wrong. He hoped it was temporary. They can’t fool you. Not with the love words and the affectionate gestures, because there’s always that bitter aura, that little stink of coldness, the tension-edge of love gone awry.

Recommended.