WHEN THE HUMMINGBIRD FLIES by Frank Hercules
Kirkus Star

WHEN THE HUMMINGBIRD FLIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The hummingbird flies over the iridiscent island known as ""His Brittanic Majesty's Caribbean Colony of Trinidad"", and this is a brilliant, darting, smarting view of the small society there, particularized by flesh tints. From the fastness of the Governor's mansion to ""caterwauling.. and calypsos"" of the native sector, this offers many contrasting vistas and views, British, Creole, West Indian. It's a tragicomic colour-caste world- and figuring here are the Honorable Mrs. Dr. James Napoleon Walter, a voluminous, ambitious woman whose invitation lists are based on suitable complexions; the Honorable Francis Herbert, her nephew, a native agitator, whose unwelcome opinions lead to his arrest; young da Carlo, with a lighter skin but a faint mentality and morality who repudiates the well-bred but mixed blooded girl he seduces; Herrick, a liberal lawyer whose goals are still limited by the colonial code; and Welsh born Dr. Griffiths who offends it and even endangers the white man's prestige by treating his native colleagues and patients as equals. Through these, and others, the floundering colonial system (a ""colonic obstruction in the body of world civilization""- Dr. Griffiths) occasions not only some stimulating discussion but also some highly funny set scenes. Hercules, a new writer, with a wickedness to match Waugh's, is also a more ribald commentator and he has achieved a sometimes serious, sometimes indecorous, but consistently diverting entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1960
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace