The Nervous Wreck: by E. J. Rath. New York: G. Howard Watt, 1923 Price $2.00.
This is one of the best "convalescent" books of the year. It doesn't matter what you're convalescing from, whether it be pneumonia, or mid-year exams, or love, or dean's notices all of us have something to convalesce from this book is your medicine. It should be taken in a semi-reclining posture, preferably before a big open fire, and should be accompanied by a good pipe and a sympathetic roommate who won't be too bored by having an occasional choice passage read aloud to him.
It won't cause you any mental effort to read "The Nervous Wreck". I strongly suspect, in fact, that it didn't cause the author any mental effort to write it. Probably he just started writing and wrote easily on, letting the plot unfold itself as it saw fit. That was the way with Henry Williams, alias "The Wreck". When he started out in his flivver, he just went nowhere in particular wherever chance took him. And Sally, being his sole passenger (and a very delightful one, too, I hasten to add). Sally, having really very little choice in the matter, just went with him. And the sheriff, well, he lost out all around, but then I guess he deserved it.
Henry Had Versatile Nerves
Nerves that was what was the matter with Henry Williams. He was a nervous wreck. He admitted it. He bragged about it. To be sure, when it came to a showdown, his nerves didn't fail him in holding up a large touring car and robbing its occupants of all the gasoline they possessed, nor did it interfere seriously with his fighting ability when Mort forgot that Sally Morgan was supposed to be married. But all sorts of things happen in Montana, you know, and even very intelligent young men from Pittsburgh may learn a thing or two there.
But I'm not going to reveal the story, I will say, however, that every one who has ever owned, operated, or ridden in one of Mr. Ford's motor vehicles will understand, appreciate, and very likely enjoy the story of Henry and Sally and the versatile flivver that proved its ability to go almost anywhere that a horse could go.
As a parting shot, it may be of interest to record the fact that Owen Davis, winner of the Pulitzer 'prize for 1923, has dramatized "The Nervous Wreck" and that under the direction of Sam Harris the play has been pleasing nightly New York audiences for some time. But I doubt if it is any better than the book.