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Selby Book Resonates

March 18, 1988

"Last Exit to Brooklyn" by Hubert Selby Jr. has been resonating in my mind's ear ever since I read it, more than 20 years ago ("From the Shadows, a Legend Reappears" by Denise Hamilton, March 11). I can think of no other book that is like it, or that has had a like effect on me. I am glad to read that Selby is at work and in control of his personal demons.

But I can't say that plans to film "Last Exit" strike me as good news. It's not that it wouldn't make a good movie, just the opposite. His subject matter is so visually rich, that I'm sure it will be a great film. And when it comes out I'm afraid it will be impossible for a young reader, like myself in 1965, to pick it up and find doors opened in his imagination over thresholds he never knew existed. This book made me grow up. I don't think a film can do that. And after its imagery has all been converted into lurid images, I'm afraid it will never resonate again.

RICHARD LAVIN

Burbank

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