THE MINSTREL BOY by David Cort

THE MINSTREL BOY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This novel, by a former foreign news editor of Time-Life, about a foreign news editor and intellectual, is a curious, cramped book. It is told mostly through the mind and rather bloodless reactions of its protagonist, Horatio Biged Bohun, who, in April, 1938, is more worried about Hitler than about getting back his wife Marilyn. However, since Marilyn has a young admirer, Harry Fiennes, whom Bohun identifies alternately with his own young, ruthless self, and with Hitler, Bohun gets drawn into the emotional conflict willy nilly. Much of Bohun's, and the book's, life is concerned with the foreign situation and Bohun's cold appraisals of the humans around him. Thus the few moments of genuine conflict and violence are queerly shocking. Fiennes shoots down two burglars, and later, after seducing Marilyn, tries to murder Bohun. Bohun survives, plots to murder Fiennes in return, is saved- by a qualm of conscience- from rushing into a trap Fiennes has set in turn... Bohun is intelligent but unlikable, and the parallel between personal and historical violence isn't quite convincing. A newsman's novel- still the psychology is probably, regrettably true.

Publisher: Macmillan