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by E Haldeman-Julius; Marcet Haldeman-Julius

  Print book : Fiction

Dust" by Mr and Mrs Haldeman-Julius: gritty!,    (2011-03-30)

Very Good

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by wppalmer

Review of "Dust" by Mr and Mrs Haldeman-Julius, published circa 1924.

Reviewer: W. P. Palmer

Edition reviewed; Haldeman-Julius, E. & M. (n.d.) Dust. Girard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Publications.

The reason for reading this novel by Emmanuel and Marcet Haldeman-Julius is that I have become interested in the scientific content of the little blue books, which were published and printed by the Haldeman-Julius's at their printing press in Girard, Kansas. Their life and work has become of interest to me.

"Dust" is a gritty novel, and a depressing read. It runs to 251 pages in this edition, in a large print using a small format page, so is not lengthy, but the plot takes in three generations of struggle of the Wade family on a Kansas farm. Emanuel and Marcet ran a farm in Girard, Kansas, so the feel for the life of a farming family is there and I suspect that the detail of the fictitious Wades is in fact fairly true to life. The characters are drawn boldly and we see their views about and understanding of life made clear and explicit, yet the characters tend to the two dimensional, rather than fully formed. The obvious struggles are against the dust, the harshness of the lack of money and resources and the hard-bitten characters formed by the interplay of the environment on human nature. There is thus tragedy piled onto tragedy, which is why I claim it to be a depressing read. There is another gender battle going on which I suspect is Marcet's contribution as she had `modern' views on the nature of marriage.


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