THE PILLAR by David Walker
Kirkus Star


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A superb story of a German P.O.W. camp, and of successive, almost successful, attempts to escape -- a story in which each one of the six men thrown into intimate and at times unbearable closeness comes to life as an individual, this is a natural for the audience that was enthralled by Eric Williams' The Wooden Horse. Walker once again proves himself a consummate artist, one difficult to pigeenhole. The Storm and the Silence ('49) was closer in mood and pace to The Pillar than was Geordie ('50). All three show his gift of penetrating analysis, but this latest book is a larger canvas, a more ambitious project. The men, Britishers, captured early in the war, afford a cross section of the British army, from Busty, soldier of fortune with none too savory a reputation, but with an uncanny facility in winning the loyalty of men from varying backgrounds, to Mark, tradition, bound to a long line of regular army men of distinction, and to Adrian, whose unfitness for an army role makes him seem effeminate and remote. Mark was the spearhead of ingenious escapes - again and again on the verge of accomplishment, again and again brought back to the hated imprisonment. But in their individual ways, each of the men made his contribution, and through flashbacks, their backgrounds and the factors that made them what they were, become integral to the ever-all picture. A first rate yarn, and a vigorous picture of life in a P.O.W. camp.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 1951
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin