by Fritz Peters
Published by Farrar, Strauss, and Young, Inc.
306 pgs. • find on Amazon.com
Paperback ISBN: Arsenal Pulp press (2006): 155152211X
Blanche M. Baker Memorial Library, Accession #?
This item is located at Oviatt Library, CSUN
from the jacket cover of the first edition (1951)
When The World Next Door appeared in 1948, it was acclaimed as a first novel of exceptional importance.
The critics speculated as to whether Fritz Peters could ever fulfill the promise of his first published work. Finistère answers this question.
Choosing a difficult theme for his second novel, Mr. Peters has written once again with mature understanding and dramatic control and has achieved the rare effect of deeply involving the reader in the lives, minds and hearts of his characters.
Finistère is a portrait of adolescence—its strains, tortures, wonders, and its sexual upheavals and their part in a universal problem: the search for love. But it is the larger implications of this novel; the contrast and conflict between the innocent love of the pure in heart and the lust of the corruptor and the corrupted, which give this book its value. Here is a study of betrayal: specifically, the effect of divorce upon the adolescent; and more generally, the terrible consequences which arise when the “wisdom of the heart” has been distorted or has not existed.
There is little doubt that Mr. Peters’ second novel adds immeasurable to his literary reputation. It is not enough to speak of the narrative tension, subtle characterization and powerful writing reflected in this new work. What readers will remember and take to their hearts is the boy Matthew—cut off from love, trust or insight—moving inevitably toward his violent end when he finds that, in a world far from innocent, love and its degraded opposite can and do have the same physical manifestations.
Publishing History: (partial)
2006: Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver BC.
1987: New American Library, reissue edition
1985: Seeker Press
1966: Lancer. Mass market paperback.
1952: Signet, New York. Mass market paperback.
Fritz Peters was born in Madison, Wisconsin and lived in Chicago, New York and Santa Fe. During World War II, he served overseas with the 29th Division and other units. He died in 1979.
His publications include The World Next Door (1949), Descent (1952), and Blind Flight (1966).
Photo from dust jacket of first edition, by Marion Morehouse.