This is, by all odds, the most fascinating writing that has come out of the Spanish scene. Elliot Paul recreates for us a Spanish island community, a friendly, human, colorful slice out of the blood and sinews of Spain, a picture of a people, simple, childlike, concerned little with the idea of a world that scarcely touched them, including in their number a bare dozen whose political beliefs were of mild concern, laughter or reproach to their neighbors. Every facet of this bit of life is shown, through the representative members of the group, until one senses the social, religious, economic, human sides of a whole. Into this island retreat the Fascist sword is thrust, the poison let loose. At first it is a comic opera civil war, involving people so superficially that when relief comes and they are freed from their terror, all seems to right itself and the loose threads are picked up, the terrified near-Fascists reinstated, and the ""communists' -- mildly pink -- serene. Then from the sky came sudden death to women and children -- and terror flamed again. Scarcely a home untouched, communications with the outside world severed, their world destroyed. Beautifully done -- a challenge to civilized thought. Timely.