"It was like viewing a geometric progression in reverse; he saw options as they narrowed: at which stage, at which phase, at which time, at which place he could have still Escaped the building trap: this step taken, that one not, another taken in a different direction: sixteen choices, then four, only two, and finally--..."   This Day's Death -- John Rechy
With this funneling vision, Jim Girard, the main character of "This Day's Death," sees his life wrestled free of his control and left to channel off into the twin nightmares of hovering death and silent injustice that borders his life. To one side is his aged mother, with whom he lives in Texas, sharing with her the twilight existence of chronic undefined illness; an illness Jim comes to view as a "war" between mother and child, complete with skirmishes based on the fear of lost love and death. On the other side stands a trial in Los Angeles on a charge that exposes Jim to the depths and intricacies of society's twisted conceptions of justice and privacy.
Between these two destructive poles, Jim strives to keep what is left of his life--his girl, his job, his future as an aspiring law student--free of the knowledge and implications of the trial and also unscathed by the corrosive attention that his mothers illness demands of him.

As in his previous books, the author offers us a moment
of time and place in America that is sliced away from
generalities and left on its own to either survive or
succumb. It is a dark picture, drawn with skill,
compassion and accuracy, of a man whose
chances are lost and who is left
with only his dignity
and depth of

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