THE GLASSHOUSE by Allan Campbell McLean


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The ""Glasshouse"" is the British Military Prison so called because of the practice of continual observation of the prisoners. Toward the close of World War II David Fraser, from the R.A.F., is sent to one of these prisons for protesting what he considered an unjust punishment. In the ""glasshouse"" his defiance merits the attention of the sadists and other psychological misfits whose very deficiencies qualify them as prison ""screws."" One's sympathies are, of course, with Fraser but, just so the story does not get too pat, the author provides situations in the lives of the oppressive characters--a regular Army staff sergeant and an escaped SS officer serving as the mess waiter--with which one can sympathize too. The climax occurs at the announcement of the surrender of Japan as the German officer snipes away at the prison brass and the prisoners try to break out. The ""system"" prevails, however, and the novel ends as Fraser begins to write about his ""glasshouse"" experiences. A rapid-fire, tough-style, and a balanced distribution of guilts. The Germans had the Jews? We had Dresden, Hiroshima, and on its own scale, the ""glasshouse.

Pub Date: May 8th, 1968
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World