Tuesday, November 8, 2016

An Exile - Madison Jones

The book is slim at 155 pages and was made into a movie (I Walk The Line) starring Gregory Peck. More importantly it was hand picked by the master who knows all the masters, Vinod Ekbote, and given to me to read. So I read.
Penguin, 157 p

Madison Jones has a distinct way of telling stories. For someone like me who cannot always make the connections until I see a clear proof, its a bit challenging. So people say something and not say something, people do and not do, and we must infer.

Hank Tawes is a fine character, forty year old and a sheriff, who prides himself on his honesty and integrity. But he's fallen for a woman, not of the high morals that he is used to and is completely smitten by her. The woman is the daughter of a known moonshiner. Lust overpowers his clarity and he lets the law breakers go. He even wants to divorce his wife and marry his lust. So smitten is he that he lets the criminal gang go even after he suspects that they killed his deputy - a corrupt one - and another associate. Tawes lust seems to  finally claim him but that is not shown clearly. I'd have liked a doctor examine him and pronounce him dead. The lady of his affections makes off with the villain. But then, who is the villain?

The paradox between the righteous and the not righteous, their actions and their words, stands out starkly. Finally, we are all made of clay and can only have the best intentions it appears. If we identify too much with something, we are missing something really big there.

Why is it called 'The Exile?' It was published in 1967. It cost 5 p in the UK.

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