THE ROAD AND THE STAR by Berkely Mather


Email this review


Mather, who has done some high styled, present day adventure stories (The Achilles Affair; The Pass Beyond Kashmir) changes tenses, and it would almost seem moods, since for the first fifty pages this reads like parody. The story relates the misadventures of one Lord Bemforth and his Cunegonde, a fifteen year old trollop named Cloda who is described as ""a blossom of the mud."" Lord Bemforth is hiding out from Cromwell's soldiers and takes refuge in a cat house from which he rescues Cloda. Cloda, who has been whoring for ages, supports the haughty Bemforth by selling herself along the road. Never! he cries. Oh, have some cheese, she says. Then they are separated when he is taken for a ruffian and put aboard ship. The road is now the sea, with up-down perils and pratfalls in Capetown, Portugal, the East Indies, piracy and adultery. He is a Commander, a beggar, and at lowest ebb who should save him. Cloda! now married to a homosexual Dutch Governor and speaking High Dutch as if chocolate wouldn't melt in her mouth. They are off again, on Marco Polo's Road to Cathay, and separated; next Central India, and separated; and again, again, again all over the historical fictional world to the last kiss in London...... It's almost as if Mather were in Bond-age but one wonders whether these two worlds can meet.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1965
Publisher: Scribners