“Children, I said to her. For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don't find?”
Nalo Hopkinson

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Harlequin By Morris West

In 1975 my favorite book was Harlequin by Morris West.  I was out today, found the book again and I still like it.  When it was written thirty-six years ago, the book was billed as a supense thriller in which computers and hit men are used by evil conspirators to control the international money supply, but to my thirteen year old mind it was about the friendship between two men.  It still is.

George and Paul are a most unlikely couple; George is an educated, well traveled polyglot, while Paul worked his way up to his senior position in the Swiss bank Harlequin inherited.  Paul is intelligent and strong but he's no Harlequin and never will be.  Paul stinks when he sweats.  No one has ever seen Harlequin sweat even when he sweats, but Harlequin sees it.  He always lets the people see what they want to see and he knows it.

Harlequin was so good could hardly believe himself.

 Paul and George Harlequin are both in love with the beautiful Julie who is married to George, of course.  Together they travel all over the world fighting to hold onto the bank, their rights, dignity, money and each other.  In the end friendship serves them well. 

This book is comforting to me like an old tore up pair of house shoes.  There's nothing with it.  So it has some violence, too much moralizing, and the dialogue is clipped like Dragnet's. The parts of the novel about computer technology is completely out of date. What is still relevant is the significance of a story about love and trust between adult men friends.

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