RARA-AVIS: Rare Books Continued - Behold This Woman

From: Jeff Vorzimmer (jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 16 Sep 2008

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    Behold This Woman may arguably be David Goodis' best novel. At the very least it was the novel he spent the rest of his life rewriting. It is the ultimate manifestation of his recurring good woman vs evil woman theme/obsession. Having read almost all of Goodis at this point, I have to say this one's got more action than most of his--three murders, blackmail, one knock-down-drag-out fistfight, a catfight that has one female character stripping the other naked and a ghost. All pretty much in the confines of a Philadelphia rowhouse over the period of a couple of months in the spring of the year. The book almost seems surreal at times. The word I hear most to describe Goodis is redemption, but I don't think there's any redemption here, even by the one character able to withstand succumbing to evil.


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