The writings of  Richard Kluger

When the Bough Breaks

The Critical Response


NEWSWEEK: “A forceful chronicle of violence out in the calm, cool countryside just 50 miles from Madison Avenue…. Richard Kluger’s varied, precocious career (he is now, at 29, editor of the New York Herald Tribune’s Book Week) includes publishing a newspaper in one of New York’s most beautiful suburban locales, Rockland County. Many of the events described in his novel took place there in the last several years, and are taking place today all over…. Kluger’s plot is exciting and his reporting is first-rate.”


KIRKUS SERVICE: “All-around popular entertainment…. The typical political set-ups of suburbia are well examined here, and the nationwide concern with real estate will keep readers going with an uncomfortable sense of self-recognition.”


CHICAGO TRIBUNE (Edmund Fuller): “All hell breaks loose. Every resource of a venal township supervisor and his political minions is flung against the secessionists…. Kluger’s people progress toward greater self-knowledge. He is most effective as pleader against the [environmental intrusion] spreading across the land and well summed up as ‘growth multiplied, growth breathless, growth scattershot and cancerous.’ ”


NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW: “it’s a splendid idea right off page one and vital to commuters….”


PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: “The central idea of this novel, whether to cut up a wooded tract on the Hudson River for new housing, is wrapped in a great deal of very clever conversation about life, love, and attitudes…very literate and interesting.”


HOUSTON CHRONICLE: “Emotions, conflict, greed, loves and jealousies build When the Bough Breaks into a powerful novel….”


NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE (Maurice Dolbier): Kluger “has given us an unhackneyed and currently pertinent theme, and has engaged us with a number of interesting characters who have interesting troubles, and who talk about them…with intelligence and wit.”


SATURDAY REVIEW (Granville Hicks): “Everything works up to a slam-bang finish….”


SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER (Don Stanley): “The story has a great deal of pertinence for Bay Area people…. Kluger knows municipal law, and the vitality with which he writes about it is both the best part of When the Bough Breaks and an encouraging reminder that political life at the grass roots can be exciting and still have considerable significance.”


INDIANAPOLIS NEWS (Vesle Fenstermaker): “…A fast-moving novel…. The surprising tactics of both sides make a good story, but the revelations of character produced by the pressures the fight generates are fascinating…. Written with skill and perception, When the Bough Breaks is excellent entertainment.”


COLUMBUS DISPATCH: “It’s a story that probably reflects similar suburban crises in a good many…areas, and makes amusing as well as topical reading.”


CHICAGO DAILY NEWS: “It’s a real shoot-em-up sex-at-the-country-club Novel of Contemporary Life, which is to say it’s considerably more interesting than contemporary life…. Artists, wives, ladies who run antique shops, unreconstructed Adlai Stevenson Democrats, golf pros, contractors, politicians, neo-fascist architects with soul crises raise Cain with each other….”



©2017 Richard Kluger