THE RED ROCK WILDERNESS by Elspeth Huxley

THE RED ROCK WILDERNESS

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A story of modern Africa is on two levels- and while enlightening is ultimately entertaining as well for elements of horror and suspense (which Miss Huxley used in her earlier books) develop predominantly over the philosophical and psychological issues. In his journal Andrew Colquohoun relates the events leading up to a grotesque finale staged on sacrosanct Bamili Rock. The young Scotsman came to equatorial Africa to write the biography of Ewart Clausen, a Nobel Prize winner and scientist who retired to a remote corner in search of knowledge. The current enigma of the great man is intimately bound up with a group of African nationalists who are encouraging a return to ancient tribal ceremonies, ceremonies which will enslave them. Andrew's complicity in the tragedy was born of an innocent conviction to understand Clausen; but his curiosity expanded to the whole complex of forces, human and otherwise, which were destroying him. With the aid of Gemma, the woman he loves, Andrew compiles information, surmounting barriers of duplicity, fear and ignorance. The culmination of his enlightenment moves with intense rapidity as he reaches Bamili Rock where Clausen, entranced and knife in hand, is sacrificing the woman who has helped him.... Miss Huxley, who has used the African background before, here amplifies it to bring out certain cultural conflicts between the colonials and the colonized, but also provides a drama in which the elements of mystery- and romance- are exciting. Try the van der Post market.

Pub Date: June 12th, 1957
Publisher: Morrow