A TREE ON FIRE by Alan Sillitoe

A TREE ON FIRE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a continuation of The Death of William Posters (1965) in what will ultimately be a trilogy extending Mr. Sillitoe's angry view of darkness visible on the Sceptered Isle, and his own accelerating anti-Establishment convictions. As did Lord Byron, who took over Greece like a junta. Sillitoe utilizes the Algerian war for independence as a fount of spiritual energy for his here, Frank Dawley. While Dawley stumbles over hot sands, back in semi-rural England a roaring household cell of protest develops. Head of the house is artist Andrew Handley, father of seven, including an earthy daughter who likes sports cars; a pamphlet-printing revolutionist; a weaker son who flirts with Conservatism--just once; a self-defrocked theology student. Brother John, victim of World War II atrocities, listens on his ham radio for cosmic messages, (intentionally ?) sets the house on fire, brings back Frank from Algeria, then commits suicide ""hopelessly loving"" England. Myra, who bore Frank's son, and Frank's legal wife and children are set to join the group at Handley-ville and plot the harassment and eventual revolution in England. They're heating the cauldron at the farm, and eating meat! British thunder on the Left, certain of continuing critical attention.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday