The intellectualization of emotion, the ironic ratiocination, characteristic of Koestler again manifest in this new novel, which is however, less oblique than any he has written. This is a portrait of the Jewish homeland, Palestine, and against the larger issues of Arab violence and British insular indifference, is told the story of a Commune, and of Joseph who became a Zionist after an experience with a woman had aligned him with the Jewish half of his heritage. Joseph is in contrast to the puritannical, pioneering fervents of the Commune, is ideologically rather than emotionally attached to the movement, has become a socialist because he hates the poor, a Hebrew because he hates the Yid. In love with Dina, scarred by her experiences in Gestapo hands, Joseph has an affair with Ellen- is forced by the Commune to marry her. It is only after acts of Arab terrorism, Dina's murder, and the unconscionable White Paper, that Joseph loses his detachment, identifies himself emotionally with his race. Koestler has never been a popular author in the popular sense; the theme here is itself limiting; the market is therefore questionable.