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BEST SELLERS. 


The Semi-Monthly Book Review 


Published by the University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania 





, Editor 
John A. Jaekkn, S.J. 


Associate Editors 


One N. Wolf, Ph.D. 
ugeric P. /Willging 


(Catholic University) 


Business Manager 
Mildred Norton 
(Assistant Librarian) 








BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB—MARCH SELECTION 


The Wall 


Hersey, John 


Knopf. Feb. 27, 1950. 632p. $4.00. 


There is perhaps a certain amount of editorial hyper- 
bole in Alfred Knopf’s statement that this latest work 
by the author of A Bell for Adano and Hiroshima “‘is 
one of the truly great novels of our generation’, but 
there is no doubt that it is John Hersey’s most im- 
portant work thus far. It is also the first presentation 
we have had of one aspect of World War I[—the 
attempt by the Germans to completely exterminate the 
Jewish population of Poland, especially that part of it 
centering in Warsaw. The Wall tells how that attempt 
failed—how human beings have that about them which 
resists annihilation, and how, individually and collec- 
tively, the Jews of Warsaw survived. 


To tell the story of the Warsaw ghetto between 1939 
and 1943, Hersey has resorted to the familiar literary 
device of the rediscovery of lost records. The records, 
in this case, are those contained in the so-called “Levin- 
son archive”, a compilation of all sorts of materials, 
diaristic, conversation records, official records, personal 
reflections, and so on—all put together by Noach 
Levinson, one of Warsaw’s Jews. From the four mil- 
lion or so words of the archive in its orginal form, 
enough has been extracted to make up this volume of 
more than 600 pages, and to give a thorough picture of 
life in the ghetto during the four years during which 
the Germans carried on their extermination campaign. 








Scores of figures pass through these pages—Levinson 
knew everyone in the ghetto, was known to all, and 
had the confidence of all. In the reactions of each to 
the four years’ terror, not only physically, but mentally, 
Levinson was passionately interested, and that all 
should be got down on paper, to be preserved for the 
world to see how the Jews had lived through the 
terror, was his object. He is, then, the major char- 
acter of the book, in the sense of being a catalyst, as 
well as a recorder, of the varied characters in the 
ghetto; and we know more of him, by the time the book 
ends, than of the characters whose lives and hearts he 
has opened before us. 


The unit of survival during the worst days of the terror 
was the “family”, but not all families were connected 
by blood ties. At first a blood-related family occupied 
one flat, or one room, but as the lines of the ghetto 
were drawn tighter and tighter, “family” lines broaa- 
ened, to include in each unit all friends of the family, 





} 


and even homeless and friendless souls generally. With 
iree family groups, the story is chiefly concerned— 
he Apts, the Mazurs, and the Bersons, but each family 
as its own group of hangers-on and dependents. The 
canvas becomes, moment by moment, more crowded 
with characters, but it becomes easier, moment by mo- 
ment also, to single out the important souls—Rachel 
Apt, homely, brilliant, and brave, the “Little Mother” 
of her large group; Dolek Berson a dreamy, impractical 
man, whose strength grows as the terror becomes 
greater; Halinka Apt and Rutka Mazur, beautiful girls 
both, but antithetical in their reactions to suffering, 
and with opposed views of duty; the deeply religious 
rabbis Mazur, Goldflamm, Mandeltort; Benlevi, Zilber- 
zweig and Rappaport, leaders of opposing Jewish politi- 
‘al factions, carrying on political activity in the face of 
annihilation. Dozens of others there are, too, some 
crossing the pages for but a moment, but all coming 
within the ken of the eager Levinson, and all assigned 
their places in the great drama of death. 

The diabolical methods of the Germans in their cam- 
paign to kill off hundreds of thousands of Jews, we all 
know quite well by now, from multitudes of White 
Papers, captured films, picture collections, and the testi- 
mony of survivors and witnesses; graphic though Her- 
sey’s accounts are of such things, we have heard them 
before, and perhaps they have lost force in the many 
tellings—but this does not prevent a passionate interest 
in the lives of these most real men and women as they 
move through the Levinson Archive. Not only do 
Hersey’s [or Levinson’s, for we often forget, I think, 
that this is a fictional device] people stand before us in 
the round, but we get a feeling of the validity of Her- 
sey’s picture of the very quality that is Jewishness— 


CONTENTS 


Book and Classification 
The Wall (Ila) 
Innocents at Home (I) 
World and Paradise (IV) 
The Sea Eagles (IIb) 
Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1) 


Author 
Hersey, John 
Considine, Bob 
Maass, Edgar 
Jennings, John 
Dubos, Rene 
White, Nelia 
McDermott, Thomas 
McKenney, Ruth 
Dark, Eleanor 
Annixter, Paul 
Lowell, Juliet 
Hall, Geoffrey 


The Pink House (IV) 
Certainly, I’m a Catholic (1) 
Love Story (IIb) 

Storm of Time (1) 
Swiftwater (1) 

Dear Hollywood (IIb) 

The End Is Known (Ila) 





186 


the deep spirituality of the 1 

fer pati — and to re bel 

suffering is worst; and—a 

i em with the Irish il 
s Tri sh Rose could do— 

allies within the Jewish 


1: 
ausaster. 


It is, indeed, this love of 

the pages of the Archive rather 
con ae of intra-ghetto polit 
too much for the average reader 
and shibboleths hard to ke 
archival en 

large number, complicate, | 
the reader; though t 
reality to the device. 


tries, and cross- and 


bie vast amount of 

‘mbedded in the pages wil 
attractive to those of Jewis 
oe will get from The 

ion of the ability of the spirit 
i, and of the permanence 
sense of humor, personal brav 
the race. By some reviewers 
undoubtedly, be compared to W« 
I think, the great universality of 
is an important piece of war writ 
sound throughout. 


D. Bernard Theall, 
Department of Libra 


Catholic l Inia ersit 
Washington 17, 


* 


Considine, Bob 
Dutton. Feb. 28, 1950. 208; 
Mr. Considine is nationally 
columnist and reporter-at-large; 
lraws an income comfortable enou; 
is wife, and three vigorous 
{partment in the upper-brac! 
lis woes and worries as fath 
more or less complicated by 
are others’ of lower income 
count of his familial tribulations, 
suffer from the intrusion of budget: 
the casual mention of the multiplicity 
sters own and neglect may ca 


envy in fond parents among his reader 


dine takes his income for granted;; he 
telling about his boys. 


Of an occasional Sunday, 
reported doings of the C 
been amplified, recast, and a 
bookful of comment on th 
parenthood, and on the n 

from sucking infant to sixth-gr 

is a full quota of laughs 

incidents and by a ski 

rences. Father is in 

contradiction, but of comp! 

D-Ray Distinegrator Gun; 

of the child’s first days in kine , 
first lessons in civilization by cut Zone. 


Hersey — Considine — Maass 


and strains as he strives encase uncooperative 
the multiple paraphernalia of snow. 
important-for-future-generation re. 

television on toddlers; on experi- 

Roy Rogers and suchlike two 


] 1 1 


eer 
abel, “Hi-yo-yo on a Long 


parents, will relish Inno. 


te their Own 


> | 
IS 00d 


World and Paradise 
1950. 405p. $3.50. 
ank profanity and its noxious slurs 
members, World and Paradis. 
in the manner of the elongated, 
yrical ra abble rouser, but falls miserably 
objectively examining its professed subject, 
gg ra a Var. Mixing the intrigues of flirtat 
hs carnage Py the battlefield, and the sensitive fuse 
religious disquietude requires an alchemist far above 
author Maass’ faculties to succeed. He is, in adc lition, 
notoriously wont to ride roughshod over whatever 
patent obstacles happen to aed in the 
ry’s getting on. 


] 


idliners in the cast of bloodless make-believe char- 

ible minx wad ¢ camp follower named 

ating Catholic nobleman, Count Karl 

arrach; the inevitable sgoorgel and Richelieu 

Chevalier de Poiron; and an out of order 

1in monk, Father Patricius, ie carries the 

relief. All of them, it might a noted, are 

bysmal thick-headedness and monotonous 

—as is also the case of Prince 

pictured here as a mystic and adventurer 

etually wrenched between the mundane wisdom 
“xpediency and the dictates of conscience. 

Through the pages the swirl of warfare pounds devas 

ingly past the capital doors of middle Europe, with 

Rosanna and Karl always meeting opportunely in the 

heat of . But religious and patric ‘tic factions divide 

them, and Rosanna is swept willy-nilly into the arms 

f the conniving Chevalier. 


ey = aes ¢ 
Iowever, Mr. Maass seems to regret th is first decision, 


ind with the presumed slaughter of Poiron at Eger, 
iffords Karl a second chance with the lady. He 


BEST SELLERS issued by the Library, University 

of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania 
Subscription price, $2.50; Single Copies, 15 Cents; 
Canadian and Foreign, $3.00. Entered as second 
class matter, April 16, 1943, at the post office at 
Scranton, Pennsylvania, under the act of March 3, 
1879. Copyright, 1950, by the University of Scran- 
ton. Indexed in the Catholic Periodical Index. 


Symbols of Classification: I. Suitable for General 
Reading. II. Adults Only, because of: A. Advanced 
Content and Style; B. Immoral Language or Incidents. 
III. Permissible for Discriminating Adults. IV. Not 
Recommended to Any Class of Reader. 





Best SELLER; 


MaRCH 


claims | 
Christi< 
Jenstein 
bountii 
results 
and, ul 
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Friar T 
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divorce 
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wealth 
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on the 
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ST SELLER: 


‘ooperative 
of snow. 
ration re. 
on experi 
hlike two. 
on a Lone 


lish Inno. 
their OWn 


it 1 
it 1s f00d 


Paradise 


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elongated 
miserably 
bject, the 
flirtatior 
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far above 
adc litic yn, 


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eve char- 
er named 
unt Karl 
Richelieu 
of order 
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-neral 
anced 
dents. 


Not 


MarcH 1, 1950 


vhere, in a qualm of 


claims his passion at Nuremberg, 


Christian repentance following the defeat of the Wal- 
1 


lensteiners, Rosanna has established herself as madame 
bountiful to the city’s refugees. Momentary confusion 
results leon the Chevalier tur ‘ry much ali 
and, under the impression iI id, | 

m<¢ a! W edded to Karl’s sis 

Friar Father Patricius t 

sa by declaring, “May a 

who disturbs their happiness! 
divorce and the marriage before 
forthwith blesses th 
communion with botl 


uck smile, 


A pommering vehic 
investigati n of 
Worl | and 'P 


on any count. 


lowa 


The Sea Eagles 


Jennings, John 
I $3.00. 


Doubleday. Feb. 299p. 


16, 1950. 
oc ; 
lad inadvertently 


co was signing a note 


When a young Sassenach-hating 
indentured himself in belief that 

for passage to America, an American sailor bought his 
indenture with money raised by an Irish trollop in the 
pursuit of her profession. Of the three—Kenny Boyle, 
Joshua Barney and Moira—the third separated to ply 
her trade throughout the British Navy and and 
only appears for a brief instant to aid in one of Joshua’s 
numerous escapes. Her main excuse, not 

ented by the author but accepted by him as wel 
that Kenny is too good to be hampere 
stripe. Arrived America Kenny 
the latter’s home at Baltimore wher 
give Kenny his freedom. Kenny ref 
himself to fall in love with Joshua’s si 


Though Kenny 
chance to buy 
wealth that should lead to re 
Barney in the fledgling American Navy 
on the book is a story rages and chases, 
and skirmishes, captures an 

Kenny move through all naval 
actually spend almost as much 
inactive as they do on active duty. 


Army 


yearned for the pri 


his freedom as well as 
d position, 

and from then 
battle 
escapes. 

scenes of the 

time, as prisoners, 
Thougl 


h each loves 


HEADLINERS 


Book and Classification Author and Review 


The Parasite S (IV) 
5 s Cavalier (I) 
>» Egyptian (IIb) 

sae Hill (1) 


du Maurier Jan. 
Shellabarger Jan. 
Waltari Sept. 
Goudge Jan. 
Mary (IV) Asch Nov. 
A Rage to Live ong O’Hara Aug. 
The Horse’s Mouth (IIb) Cary Feb. 
One on the House (IIb ) Lasswell Feb. 
The Way West (Ila) Guthrie Oct. 
Wom an of Rome (III) Moravia 


This | Remember (Ila) Roosevelt 

The Mature Mind (IIL) Overstreet 

My Three Years in Moscow (Ila) Smith 

The Peabody Sisters of Salem (1) Tharp 
fodern Arms and Free Men (Ila) Bush 

The Wooden Horse (Ila) Williams 


~ 
Wana Ue 





—~ he 
eee | ee 


Jennings — Dubos 187 


the other, enny and Barbary strike sparks and it takes 
Kenny’s mutilation and his subsequent recovery, during 
and after the fight of the Bonhomme Richard and the 
ing them together. But victory on the sea 

ry on land and the two couples faced 

he brave young new republic 


romance of colonial 

poorly and awkwardly 

tory and of matters naval 

also scanty and insufficient. 

iters especially are all too briefly described 
ng submitted to plot. Moira is an ob- 
-haracter and a bit too much space is de- 
liz sex with a bit too 

In general the book 

below the level 


( 
mmercialization of 
of her noble: ess. 
“=? a 

adults but is definitely 

ree | 


eariler WOrks. 


* + * 


Dubos, Rene J. 
Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science 
Feb. 2, 1950. 418p. $5.00. 
. fellow Frenchman and a fellow scientist, Dr. 
h 1as Written a book for the so-called “average” 
one of the truly great men of the ages. Seldom does 
become unduly technical, although it is 
fortunate that the author did not include a bit more 
scientific terms, even though such 
have been relegated to footnotes. In 
rteen chapters he makes understandable the con- 
ibutions made by Pasteur to such problems as the pos- 
of spontaneous generation, the germ theory of 
>, mechanisms of contagion and disease, and im- 
munity and vaccination. Although a chemist and not 
Pasteur devoted much of his life to the 
-radicati of disease and the lessening of human 
iffering. Frequently he had to fight bitterly with 
dical practitioners, who gave up very slowly many 
yns then currently held. 


ne musconceptic 


I — Brown. 
Dubos 


rea d er 


‘mation about 


rial might 


a poysician, 


enerally known that Pasteur did much to 
last the pc pul rly held conception that spontaneous 
possible, it is interesting to note that 
career, he evidently believed such 
development possible. He apparently entertained the 
belief that life could come from non-life during the 
years he spent teaching at Strasbourg and at Lille, but 
by the time he returned to Paris in 1857 he was evi- 
dently prepared to prove that spontaneous generation 
was scientifically impossible. One is impressed at the 
practical aspects of his work, when we follow his work 
for the period 1865-1869 when he tried to lessen the 
effects of the silkworm epidemic in southern France. 
One of his letters written in 1865, upon the death of 
his father, is weighted with the solidity of the Catholic 
principles which guided his life. This attitude sus- 
tained him during his illness in 1868 when his left arm 
and leg were partly paralyzed. After his illness, he 
seemed ti come even more productive. During the 
| 1873-1888, he, more than any other scientist, 
proved the germ theory of disease and developed the 

chniques of immunization (pp. 48-49); in 1881 he 
vaceinated and saved sheep from dying from anthrax; 
in 1885 he vaccinated two boys and probably saved 
them from contracting rabies. Meanwhile, he kept in 


Since ns is g 
1 
i 


generation was 
early in hi 
] 


s research 


] 
>» be 


1OC 





188 


touch with List ter in England and with Koch in Ger- 
many, each of whom was also advancing the frontier 
of medical and scientific knowledge. It was very diffi- 
cols to convince physicians that bacteria cause disease. 
Even though the phy » admit, after 
using the microscope, that bacteria were present in the 
blood and tissues of *rsons, these same doc- 
tors maintained that the bacteria were a result and not 
a cause of disease. Even the redoubtable Fl rence 
Nightingale ridiculed the idea that there were specific 

bluntly: “There are no specific 
itions” (p. 249 ). 

pt 





sicians were forced t 


diseased pe 


1; 


diseases. She said 








dise ases; there are specific disease Col 
She maintained that bad livi ng conditions could 
duce any disease; in effect she argued that no diseases 
could occur in an area which was sanitary. Typhoid 
fever and typhus were to her simply two phases of 
the same illness; neither could appear in clean, well 
ventilated quarters. It was against such ignorance that 
Pasteur had to carry on an uphill fight. When he 
accused the doctors who were 


ending women in 
maternity of hospitals of carrying puerperal fever by 
their unclean hands from one patient tl 
doctors were highly insulted, 


to another, the 
but eventually Pasteur 
proved to them that he was ; right (po; Z6Z). 


It is indeed fitting that such a book should appear at 
this time. The leading scientists of the world now seem 
unfortunately to be committed, by actions of their re- 
spective governments, to the destruction of civilization 
as we know it. It is at least comforting to know that a 
great scientist who lived from 1822 to 1895 was com- 
mitted to the practice of saving life rather than de- 
stroying it, and to the religious belief that God wanted 
men to live together in peace rather than to the secular 
commandment of today that we must destroy ourselves, 
if necessary, in order to kill anyone who disagrees with 
us. The science of today is as destructive as that of 
Pasteur’s day was constructive. Which do you prefer? 
Paul Kiniery, Ph.D., 
Loyola Unia ersity, 
Chicago, Illinois 


= * * 


White, Nelia G. The Pink House 


Viking. 3111p. $3.00. 

The Pink House is an odd book. 
air of unreality about the scenes, the characters, and 
the intertwined plots. The title rather suggests that 
there is a house with a personality strong enough to 
influence its inhabitants; the title is misleading and 
does not fulfill its promise. The story, or rather the 
stories, are trivial and ill defined: The characters do 
not act, they drift. 

The novel is concerned with John Dickinson and his 
wife Rose, their four children, John’s sister, Poll, and a 
crippled niece, Norah Holme. This last is the narrator, 
part spectator and part participant in the tale. In the 
course of the story, the crippled niece is received into 
the Pink House and is resented and mistreated by her 
Aunt Rose and the four children. Her only friend is 
Poll who becomes her tutor and confidant. Rose Dick- 
inson is the evil influence in the story but the latent 
malice in her seems never to crystallize. She despises 
her husband, resents her children, indulges in ‘mild 
flirtations, rather serious thievery, and finally, on a 
presumably solitary tour through Europe, divorces her 


There is a curious 


White — McDermott — McKenney 





Best SELLER; 
husband and marries a titled Britisher. The authores 
would have it that the malignancy of this woman 
warps and seriously impairs the spiritual and moral 
outlook of the family. pees ewer for the 
novel, this impression does not come through the gen. 
eral confusion. The dominating ann Poll, is perhaps 
the only chars that Nelia White de 

pletely. She is interesting, believable, and thoroughly 
enjoyable. 


entire 


wiliade velops com. 


It is regettable t! iat in order to arrive at a solution or 
untangling of the threads of the story, the authoress 
has to depend on two divorces a1 iree Marriages, 
More than thi . divorce is taken as the natural way of 
settling marital difficulties. This last turn transforms 
he boo k from one that is neutral, or at best mildly 

one that cannot be recommended. 

William Noé Field, 

ae Hall College, 

South Orange, N. J. 

* * * 





t 
t 


interesting, into 


Certainly, I’m a Catholic 
154p. $2.50. 
This book is a statement of 
ton attorney, whose avocation writing, and who al- 
ready has to his credit a biography of Pius XII. His 
standpoint is that of a busy professional man, educated 
nearly entirely in Catholic schools, now carving out a 
successful career in the world. He understands wel 
certain dr: awbé acks to his religion in the world of affairs, 
where he observes that Masons or Episcopalians seem 
to fare best. It is partly in answer to these and other 
persons of different views, and pat rtly to satisfy his own 
questioning mind that Mr. McDermott has set dow: 
this brief and practical summary of his reasons for stay- 
ing Catholic despite its social and economic disad- 
vantages. 
Such a book is timely and objectiv e, touching on every- 
day matters such as patriotism, sex and social relations, 
science, the Index, idecslinn. and democracy. It is 
easy to read and accurate, being the product of a legal 
mind. It is not a systematic treatise, makes no pretense 
to profundity or scholarship (there are very few notes 
or references), and touches but lightly on the interior 
aspect of religion. Its appeal is directly to the ordinary 
busy layman who hasn’t had the time or training to 
give much consideration to the difficulties of his re 
ligion. Among non-Catholics the book should do good 
work, for it is sympathetic and straight-forward. There 
is, however, nothing of special interest for the student, 
scholar, or priest, who will know most of what is in it. 
Nevertheless, since the battle of books is on, what with 
Mr. Blanchard and his ilk, this little work ought to be 
a useful piece of artillery in parishes and among lay 
apostles since it gives timely answers to the many ques 
tions that will be thrown up by inquirers, friendly and 
otherwise. 


McDermott, Thomas 
Bruce. Feb. 15, 1950. 


faith by a young Washing. 





Dom Bruno McAndrew, 
st. Anselm’s Priory, 
Washington 17, D. C. 
~* a + 
McKenney, Ruth 
Harcourt, Brace. Feb. 10, 1950. 303p. 


Another autobiographical work from 
Columbus, Ohio, girl, who had New 


Love Story 
$3.00. 
the pen of the 
Yorker readers 










































































—120, wil 
later ré 
some 


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© authores 
iS Woman 
and moral 
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‘LOPS Com. 
thoroughly 


olution or 
authoress 
Marriages, 
ral way of 
transforms 
est mildly 
nded. 
ield, 
lege, 


N. J. 


Catholic 
Washing- 


| who al- 
XII. His 
educated 
ing out a 
inds well 
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ans seem 
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his own 
et down 
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Ww notes 
interior 
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his re- 
do good 

There 
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is in it. 
1at with 
1t to be 
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1y ques- 
dly and 


rew, 


2 Story 


of the 
readers 


ST SELLER 


MarcH 1, 1950 


(and subsequently playgoers) laughing a decade or so 
ago, with her stories about her sister Eileen; and whose 
la violent grandfather 
less fascinating. The present vo ‘lume has 
1 Ruth’s brief and violent courtship by a young 
Masses, and with the subsequent 
life, dozen 


ater reminiscences of a seemed 
somewhat 
to do wit 

editor of the Neu 
vicissitudes of married 


over a period of a 


years Or SO. 
It has always seemed rather sad that a writer of Miss 
— ey’s talents should have spent so large a part 


of her re al » much ink, in the yf those parts 


cause 


of the labor movement which are, to say the best of 
them, very, very, very far to the left, and that she and 
her husband sho a i have spent so large a part of their 


1 life in fanat 


then, a 


married ical 1 devotion to bad causes. Leftist 
labor sales up, rather goodly share of these 
reminiscences, and there is throughout a too shrill in- 
sistence on the beauty of being emancipated socially 
and free from most "of convention’s trammels. At 
their wedding, both were dete rmined not to have any 
of “this ‘Dearly Beloved, to Have and to Hold’ busi- 


ness”, and the account of the wedding, “while meant 
te be funny, is a rather good commentary on the Mc- 
Kenney attitude toward religion. (Mike had just shed 


an earlier wife, whose turnings-up in their subsequent 
life are described in great detail—but then, such things 
are ceiees. ) 
The fac though, that Ruth 
captor of ie moment which is, 
miserable, but is afterward, and as 
supremely funny. There is an 
suburban barbecue in the genuine “My-Sister-Eileen” 
style that is worth all the rest of the book. There are 
a few other such gems, but mainly this is an account 
of a desperately unconve ntional married life, with a 
insistence throughout on how much 


screamingly shrill i 

fun it has all been, and with what Ruth McKenney 
thinks of, I am sure, as a brave declaration of conjugal 
principles at the end, to the effect that “if Mike and I 
have a life rich and varied, we must endure with what 
grace we can the pain we have suffered between our 
goodly joys. We are too passionate and too blunder- 
ing, to inhabit any safe and comfortable plateaus”. 
It all depends on what one calls “richness” in married 
life—or in any life. 

The book is quite harmless for adult reading, and much 
in it will amuse, but it is a really rather frightening 
exhibition of paganism among the middle classes. 


D. Bernard Theall, 
Department of Library Science, 
Catholic University of America, 


W ‘ashineton 7. D. is 


hts 


* * * 


McKenney is a fine 
as it passes, supremely 
McKenn 1ey- -related, 
account here of a 


Dark, Eleanor 


Whittlesey House. 


Storm of Time 


Jan. 30, 1950. $3.50. 


This is, probably, the biggest bargain in print-per-penny 


590p. 


that has been published in many moons. The six- 
hundred-less-ten pages are closely printed in what 
seems a smaller-than-usual type with less-than-cus- 


tomary margin, and would easily make three ordinary- 
size novels. It also covers, rather thoroughly, some 
nine years of the early history of Australia, involving 
more characters and plots, sub-plots, peripheral and 
ancillary stories than a reviewer can count or recount 


Dark — Annixter 


























































189 


briefly. Yet it all adds up to a continually interesting 
sometimes exciting historical novel that is much more 
history than novel, for all that many of its people are 
fictitious, valid creations of the author’s invention. The 
scope of the work is big, and this reviewer agrees, with- 
out cavil, to the Introductory estimate historian Allan 
Nevins gives to the completed work. Mr. Nevins has 
also neatly summarized the content of 

follows: 

“Tt is a story full of violence, cruelty, greed, and poli- 
tical intrigue, lighted by episodes of heroism, 
sacrifice, and devotion to public aims. The author 





; ’ 
the book as 


self- 


writes with convincing vividness of convicts of high 
lineage and low, and their brutal maltreatment; of the 
efforts of scheming men to monopolize land, reduce 


independent settlers to serfdom, and exterminate the 
natives; of revolts savagely led and still more savagely 
quelled; and, most important of all, of the grim, endless 


and the civil gov- 
dominate 


feud between the military garrison 
ernors. Two men of exceptional 
] 


Stature 


much of the tale: the shrewd, cold, insatiably ambi- 
tious Captain Macarthur, and his opponent, one driving 
Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, duelists whose battle 


shakes the young colony. 
the weak outer settlements, 
ness, the tenuous links with 
with sure economy of stroke.” 
However, I found myself far more interested in the 
ultimate fate of the or convict Finn, and the red- 
haired runaway bush-boy, Jonny, who tried to establish 
a safe refuge for other runaway penal victims, remote 
from the expanding colony; am he than in the higher- 
level historical struggle of Governor Bligh and “Jack 
Bodice” Macarthur. The latter of these two con- 
testants appears through the first and last thirds of the 
book, but oddly never comes to life as a : deee dimen- 
sional person. Possibly this is because he is one of the 
“real” historical figures. Whereas Stephen Mannion, 
the fictional, insufferably arrogant, independent planter 
looms dark over half the pages with a menace that is 
tangible; and his young wife, Conor, is also exception- 
ally well-drawn, credible and immensely sympathetic. 
The struggles of Bligh’s predecessor, Governor King, 
are equally important with Bligh’s although they end 
less tragically, yet more pathetically. 
It is something of a shock to notice that Miss Dark has 
authored five previous novels, (among them The Time- 
less Land, which was a Book-of-the-Month selection 
when published here), because Storm of Time is al- 
most, if I may be pardoned the banality, a down-under 
Gone With the Wind. Throughout the entire book, 
Miss Dark’s love of her native Australia glows like a 
proud lantern; and her sympathies are wide and just. 
There is no reason why Storm of Time need be neg- 
lected by any reader who likes action, plenty of it, and a 
lot of reading for the price of purchases. 

R. F. Grady, S.J., Ph.D., 

University of Scranton 


FAMILY READING CLUB—FEBRUARY 
SELECTION 


The infant city of Sydi ney, 
il 


the immense silent wilder- 


England, 


are described 


Annixter, Paul Swiftwater 


A. A- Wyn. Jan. 18, 1950. 


Adventure in the wilds of the Maine wi oods provides 
source material for this story of a trapper’s life, of his 


256p. $2.50. 





190 Lowell — Hall 


dependency on the beneficence of nature to provide a 
simple livelihood for his family. : 
The blood of the MicMacs flowed in his veins and 
Cam Calloway knew the bush and the habits of its 
four-footed residents with a knowledge unique in the 
wwiftwater region. It seemed as if Bucky possessed the 
ht as he joined his father in setting the 


same rare insight 
winter trap lines for the first time. 


A weakness for a nip too much at times, his obvious 
inability to acquire material wealth, and the simplicity 
of his ways as he sought the forest in preference to 
their company had won for Cam the antagoriism of the 
Swiftwaterites. But the Calloways were reasonably 
happy in their log cabin, as happy as people who are 
sometimes hungry for food or friends can expect to be. 
Bucky nursed a deep admiration for his father; he 
shared Cam’s love for the forest creatures and promised 
to be as canny a woodsman. Like Cam, he experienced 
an almost spiritual affinity to the wild geese as they 
planed over the Maine woods twice yearly in their 
migratory journeys. The two deplored the loss of life 
as huntsmen leveled the valiant birds in flight, and 
the main theme of the novel centres on their efforts 
to provide a sanctuary for them. 


Bucky’s rapid development from boyhood to man’s 
estate occurs when Cam, in the act of setting his traps, 
fractures a leg thus necessitating a lengthy convales- 
cence. Going over the trap line alone, the boy con- 
quers fear as he stalks a wolverine that has been pil- 
laging the catch to its winter lair where, in a tense 
battle, he kills the beast. Suspense ranks high through- 
out the story and reaches a maximum when old Fire 
Eyes, a lynx, is done to death by Keg, the Calloways’ 
amusing pet bear. 
Conflict creeps in as the inevitable city promoter, 
Fraser, attempts to take advantage of the father and 
son in their honest efforts to build up the bird sanc- 
tuary. It is a dramatic moment when the gander, en 
route north, settles his flock on the lake near the 
trapper’s cornfield, but a bitter one when Fraser’s 
friends fire at the unsuspecting birds for the sheer de- 
light of killing. Cam’s heroic effort to scatter the 
flock, an easy prey on the water, costs him his life as a 
gun volley cuts him down. By some instinct, the geese 
persist in remaining and the sanctuary is finally assured 
proper support with Bucky installed to carry on Cam’s 
work. 
Characterization is well established here with the stress 
on man’s nobler traits. Ma Calloway is entirely human 
in her longing for a fur cape; Cam and Bucky, in their 
conspiracy to provide it, are equally engaging. Viney, 
Bucky’s sister, is almost too young to figure dramatically 
in the tale but Bridie Mellott his one-time schoolmate 
contributes to the plot in a mildly romantic angle. 
Some criticism might be directed at the time element. 
One has almost decided that Cam lived and died dur- 
ing the heyday of the Hudson’s Bay Company when 
direct allusion to modern methods of travel and stream- 
lined living brings one up to date. This is a simple, 
unobjectionable story fit for all to read and boys espe- 
cially should find it to their taste. 

Rosemary McCormick, 

Toronto, Canada 


BesT SELLER; 


Dear Hollywood 
96p. $1.00. 


Lowell, Juliet 

Duell, Sloan & Pearce. Jan. 27, 1950. 
Juliet Lowell has coined a pretty penny out of othe 
peoples’ not-so-literary and unintentionally humoroy; 
epistolary efforts. Where collections have 
been drawn from letters to government agencies and t 
congressmen the present series have been coll 
from Hollywood but, in spite of Hollywood’s repute. 
tion, are scarcely zanier than those from other sources, 
Letters to movie stars, to restaurants, to radio stations 
department stores, beauty consultants and newspaper 
columnists make up the bulk of the book. A few are 
funny, some are objectionable as are many of the 
accompanying illustrations. Suggestive allusions and 
double-entendre are frequent. Although the book will 
not injure adults there is no reason to recommend jt 


either for style or content. 


| 


] 
| 


Y 
previous colle 


* 


Hall, Geoffrey Holiday 


Simon & Schuster. Dec. 9, 


The End Is Known 


1949. $2.00. (Inner 


248p. 


Sanctum Mystery). 


The publishers say this is a first novel. It is a good 
one. Though the opening situation which motivates 
and directs the subsequent action is a fairly common 
one, the twists the plot takes are ingenious, the pace 
never falters, the suspense never sags, and the conclu. 
sion is bang-up. 


When a stranger threw himself from the apartment 
window of Bayard Paulton, middle-aged department 
store executive, his wife reported that she had thought 
him one of the store’s employees when he said that 
only Mr. Paulton could help him. In the hope that 
his aid might still be of service to the dead man, Paul- 
ton made contact with three individuals who had 
known him in life. 


There was Crazy Jessie Dermont who came from Mon- 
tana to take the body back for burial. She said the 
suicide had stopped at her restaurant one day and 
been persuaded to stay the winter. And there was 
“The Greatest Brain in the World” who had known 
the dead man at a subarctic camp during the war. 
Helen Marr had known both him and his wife, greedy, 
cheating Peggy Landowski, at a Maine airfield. But 
all had lost touch with him years before. None of 
them—and certainly not Mr. Paulton—anticipated how 
nearly the tragedy in the victim’s life would touch the 
businessman’s life. 
The author is a good reporter—the scenes of his novel 
come alive through one or two descriptive touches 
which the reader recognizes or considers illuminating. 
The characters are well-conceived and plausible, with 
rather more depth than one customarily finds in a 
mystery story. While the murderer is exaggerated for 
the effect the author wishes to achieve, the others are 
well typed and convincing. Plot development is 
smooth: the necessary pegs on which the plot hangs 
are in their proper place, unobtrusive and credible. 
Only the bitter taste in the author’s mouth seems a bit 
young and raw. 
Helen L. Butler, Ph.D., 
Department of Librarianship, 
Marywood College, 
Scranton, Pennsylvania 





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