Most of us know of the author as a dramatic playwright, but in this 1950 book he takes to writing a novel, and it in my opinion is hardly worth reading. This tells the story of an aging, retired, rich actress trying to find something interesting to do in Rome. She is tempted by male hookers and hangers-on in cahoots with a countess who profits monetarily from the situation. Perhaps in the era it was written, this short book might have commanded more interest (it was made into a movie), but today it hardly seems worth notice. As far as writing style, the descriptions and metaphors are done well, but as a story, much seemed to be lacking.
"I am drifting, drifting, Mrs. Stone said to herself."
There aren't too many good playwrights who are also good novelists (and vice versa). Possibly the greatest of mid-century playwrights (Sorry, Arthur Miller), Tennessee Williams did write a pretty good novel, which was published in 1950. He takes the familiar theme of an American adrift in Europe (Hawthorne, James, Fitzgerald). Compared to some of his plays, it's relatively understated. "Suddenly Last Summer" was also set in Europe. Filmed several times.
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