Dreadful Summit - Stanley Ellin This book could be called a coming-of-age story, but in this case, it happens at warp speed for sixteen-year-old George. The action of the story all takes place within about twelve hours. On page 5 (in my edition) George announces “I think I liked Al Judge a lot before I knew I had to kill him.” In a few pages, we figure out why George thinks he has to kill Al Judge, and for almost the whole rest of the book, the reader is torn between hoping George succeeds or fails at this mission. Variations on the phrase “I had to kill Al Judge” appear with, for me, an annoying frequency, throughout the first half or so of the book. I think Ellin does a pretty good job of portraying the thought process of a sixteen-year old boy, (I can’t be sure, never having been one), and that’s probably the cause of all the repetition. At any rate, the reader is unlikely to forget George’s mission, even if they only read one page a day. I like the novel overall, and it’s a quick read due to its shortness, and the urgency which makes you want to hurry up and get to the part when and if George finally catches up with Al Judge. George is a bumbler, and the novel is almost comical with all the delays George runs into as he follows Al Judge around the city, except that the presence of the gun keeps reminding us how serious things are going to get, eventually.