by Eric Hodgins
Mr. and Mrs. Blandings want to build their dream house on Connecticut’s Bald Mountain, but somewhere beneath the grounds of their serene and scenic property lurks a roiling, mischievous stream of water. I can’t think of a better analogy for Hodgins’s clever prose, which is all propriety and elegance on the surface – and a whirlpool of repressed anger and despair down below.
That’s a blueprint for high comedy as we follow the hapless Blandings, two city slickers who run afoul of country anti-bumpkins in their quest to build the American Dream, circa 1946. Try as the Blandings might to fit in with their new neighbors, alas, it is not to be as tensions on both sides of the cultural divide threaten to – and periodically do – erupt during construction of the jinxed house.
This might not say much for human nature, but as an observer it can be wicked fun to sit back and read about someone else’s misery.
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