by MacDonald Harris. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1968. Also New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1969.

From the Jacket:

And so it was my own fault; I had consciously willed what had happened and I was absolutely responsible. I had arrived at the final logical end of the holy man system. Once you have entered into emotional relations with people, even if it is only to cure them of a disease, there is no place to stop...I was completely committed to what I did next...

The narrator of this sad, funny, completely engrossing book is a successful psychiatrist with a lovely wife and family and all the toys that middle-class affluence can buy. He speaks these words just before he performs a deed that irreparably shatters his world. From this moment on, his story is that of a man caught in a haunting, humorous odyssey into the depths of himself. Stripped by the consequences of his act of all his "possessions," encased in a terrible emotional detachment, he travels through Europe in the tow of a disturbed rich widow to whose terrible fate he passively contributes. The motivations of his existence, which makes his narrative a very fascinating mixture of self-mocking humor, suspense, and meaningful commentary, are best indicated by MacDonald Harris's own statement: " I believe that it is possible for a man to want to kill a woman because she threw his shoes out of the window."

Closely connected to the idea of Trepleff, Chekhov's pathetic hero in The Sea Gull, the narrator's story offers scope for interpretations on many levels--a brilliant tour de force that propels MacDonald Harris into the company of today's finest fiction writers.

Critical Acclaim for Trepleff:

See the review on Kirkus Reviews. Return to Harris/Heiney publications page