Hello, Mr. Clint

As I grow older, I think less and less about trying my hand at fiction.  For an old man who has kept his eyes open and made a few mental notes of what he has seen, the great temptation is to write a memoir.  Even a good novel may never find a publisher, while even a bad memoir will be read, if only in typescript, by friends and relations, either to see what made the old man tick or, more often, to find reasons to laugh at him.  Clinton Trowbridge (Groton class of 1946), giving in to the temptation, has produced a book that will be enjoyed by a circle of readers who have never known a Trowbridge and never attended Groton.

Grotties Don’t Kiss is successful memoir written in plain English.  The author, by his own account, has gone through life without pretending to understand too much of it, and he records the strange things that have happened with the lack of guile that bears witness to his own follies.  Trowbridge, an English professor turned essayist, explains on the first page that, at the age of 12, he “was sent away to boarding school, because, for one thing, it was cheaper than keeping me at home.”  Trowbridge père was a minister and friend of the headmaster, and young Clint (if I may take the liberty) was a “gargantuan eater” who consumed the price of tuition “in boiled potatoes alone.” 

Clint is not especially mischievous,...

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