NO SON OF MINE by G.B. Stern


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This is completely off the track of G.B. Stern's predictable novels (which have previously fitted into two classes --substantial family sagas such as The Matriarch series -- and delectable froth like The Dark Gentleman). It is difficult to spot the market -- for it should reach out to include those readers who prefer the novel verging on the esoteric, who read with avidity these books called ""critics books"" in the trade. Remember Symons' fascinating The Quest for Corvo? This has somewhat that same appeal -- a story told on two thresholds, of a persistent, if diffused search for connecting links in an almost lost record. Miss Stern is telling two stories, on different levels,- the story of Robert, vagrant, wanderer, who seizes a resemblance to the dead Robert Louis Stevensed to capitalize on it as a source of income and a measure of security without imperilling his freedom from the chains of civilization. To give credence to his imposture, he follows Stevenson's trails in Scotland, on the Continent, making strange contacts, using and being used by various types of people, linked by the slender thread of their devotion to the memory of the man whose son he claimed to be. Bit by bit, the portrait of R.L.S. is built, for the reader as well as for Robert; but it is Robert himself, with his conflicts and contradictions, who dominates a story that exerts a strange compulsion on the reader.

Pub Date: May 18th, 1948
Publisher: Macmillan