All the Little Live Things Author:Wallace Stegner Why does the older generation feel as it does about what is happening in the world today? Wallace Stegner answers this question, with sympathy and understanding, for one good human individual trying to come to terms with his world while retaining his own integrity. In a novel that probes deeply into this and other aspects of contemporary life, h... more »e shows his narrative skill, his great gifts of evocation, and his eloquent intelligence at their mature best.
Joe Allston and his wife, two Easterners in their sixties, retire to California in search of peace after the death of their wayward son. Their paradise in invaded by assorted parasites -- not only by the gopher and the rose blight, the king snake and the hawk, but also by a neighbor with a bulldozer, bent on "development". Jim Peck, a bearded young cultist, builds a treehouse on their property and starts a University of the Free Mind, complete with yoga, marijuana, and free-wheeling sex. Most damagingly of all, it is invaded by Marian Catlin, an attractive young wife and mother, affirming all the hope and love that the Allstons believe in, who carries within herself seeds as destructive as any in the malevolent nature that surrounds them.
All these forces come together in a climax of devastating effectiveness. That the Allstons survive it, and gain wisdom and understanding, makes this an affirmative and deeply moving book.« less