WORLD WITHOUT END by Gilbert Frankau


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Once again Gilbert Frankau has apun a readable enough, though overlong, tale around a character patterned after his own Masterson, a wanderer, an odd one to whom the lure of adventure and the illusion of freedom are dominant factors in life. Miles Radcliffe is, however, cut from gentler stuff; his father a clergyman, his half brother a successful suburban manufacturer. Not this for Miles, who turns up at odd intervals, and between times mixes in wars and border troubles, rum running, gun running, gambling with safety. The story starts in Ireland, at the end of the Black and Tan ructions; it winds up on the Egyptian front in the present war. Three women enter in, one for whom he felt too great a responsibility; one whom he loved -- but whose fortune came between them; and his mother, with whom he has what might be labelled a belated incestuous idyll. Frankau is no longer the craftsman of his earlier books; his plot creaks, his mannerisms are annoying. The book is pretty much of a might-have-been.

Publisher: Dutton