The young John Updike’s portrayal of a haughty seminary student working as a lifeguard is witty and poetic, as the naïve hero surveys the beachgoers in his care, and contemplates a future of saving souls as well as bodies.
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"John Updike’s voice is perfect for his description of a divinity student who sits in lifeguard’s chair each summer and philosophizes." (Library Journal)
"You get the wispy, elitist, ironic elegance of John Updike’s young lifeguard." (Joan Wickersham, Boston Globe)
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