THE STUMBLING STONE by Aubrey Menen

THE STUMBLING STONE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The Prevalence of Witches introduced delighted readers to Aubrey Menen in 1948, and his unique gift of satire, of gently barbed wit, of malicious poking fun at accepted tenets of belief, was widely recognized in the critical world. Now comes The Stumbling Stone which- in this reader's opinion- succeeds where Wouk's Aurora Dawn fell down. With tongue in cheek he approaches the do-gooders- in their varied guises. Politicians, artists, social workers, religious fanatics- all are exposed, their self-interest in doing good shown to the observer. Colley Burton, lately struggling to survive while selflessly serving the untouchables in India, arrives in England to find himself a ""saint"" and the play written about him, a SRO success in London. Unaccustomed to recognition, he views his new role suspiciously, explores on his own, the focus of current good will, the reformation of a lad who is a victim of circumstances, and finds that in taking him off the pin of observation and granting his secret wish, he- Colley Burton- has done Charlie as much harm as the others. So he takes his own way out, and the story ends, leaving the reader with an odd sense of exposed nerves, unsolved problems, and laughter still on the edge of tears. An odd book, not easily described.

Pub Date: July 11th, 1949
Publisher: Scribner