THE IRON HOOP by Constantine FitzGibbon


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With none of the sharply seasoned romantic interest of The Arabian Bird (Rinehart, 1948), this is a somewhat more ambitious second novel which uses an imaginary framework of time and place and certain allegorical techniques. This tells of New City, in a postwar occupation area, with its Iron Hoop- a ruined part of the city tenanted by deserters, refugees, criminals, victims. There the Captain, a security officer sent overseas after an involvement with a girl, meets Anna- who had escaped from an orphanage with her brother, Paul, and Bun and Lin- who quickly take to violence. In his affair with Anna, the Captain confronts the eventual opprobrium of his uncle, the General, and of course his wife, and when Anna returns to the Hoop- she takes a willing part in an anarchical attempt to overthrow the occupation. The death and imprisonment of all who participate follow the failure of the revolt, while the Captain returns quietly to England... One questions whether the message here is sufficiently valid, and certainly the form is not a popular one, for this to reach an audience.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1949
Publisher: Knopf