First-ever new edition of The Water Wheel, the 1933 semi-autobiographical debut novel by Julian L. Shapiro, who later achieved cult status writing as John Sanford.
From the original edition's dust jacket:
"The Water Wheel recounts both the real and imagined-real adventures of one John B. Sanford in New York and London over a short period in 1927. The novel is completely dominated by Sanford, a self-assumed individualist--and self-styled 'lawclerk, sinner, ex-convict, adolescent, grandson and legatee of a Litvak matchvendor.'
"The author has maintained a rigid objectivity, at no time intruding upon the narrative, or showing his hand by making Sanford a mouth-piece for the expression of ideas outside the scope of the novel. Notwithstanding the author's neutrality, only the most literal will overlook in Sanford a character definitely in our time.
"In form, The Water Wheel has no counterpart in American letters. It deliberately avoids the traditional, but its objectives are always clarity and simplicity. The many technical and typographical innovations are designed to suit the subject matter, and are not fake-modern tricks."
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About the Author
"This first novel has some effective, even brilliant, scenes. It has originality of language, especially in the projection of moods. . . . verbal brilliance."
-- The New York Times
"I can't say that I have ever seen better work. It is really written, it moves, it has the quality of a novel. The story as a story bites in, a matter of serious concern to anyone who can think and feel. It is excellent."
-- William Carlos Williams
"I personally regard Shapiro's novel as the sort of thing that has to come after Joyce, Stein and Surrealism. It is as;fine and sensitive at times--if the word were not so utterly;damned, I'd say 'as beautiful'--as Virginia Woolf. . . .;In addition, Shapiro is a highly conscious and finished craftsman, which is to say that he is always exceedingly readable."
-- Samuel Putnam