SCORPION ON A STONE by Gwyn Griffin

SCORPION ON A STONE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

These ""Six Stories of Loyalty and Betrayal in Modern Africa,"" throw a harsh light on the death throes of colonialism, as, the battle lost, a pointless valor endures. These are not unquestioning heroes: they are men caught in the class war of the British Army, knowing the hopelessness of their cause. Young lieutenant Tim Barker is forced to a final reckoning on a remote redoubt by the men who have mutinied against him after a disastrous command; Raymond Gie is moved by love to attempt to forestall his captain's equally disastrous acquiescence to native forces he does not understand; while a young man, English by the accident of birth, commiserates with his Italian counterpart, in the days before he has truly made his way in the army. Romance remains for the most part tentative and unrealised here, whether in the withdrawal symptoms of a married couple, the unconfessed love of man for man, the moment in a lifetime spent between a married Englishwoman of thirty and the dangerous Arab leader who moves her for the first time. Mr. Griffin has a flair for drama and is unafraid and unhurried as a narrator; he has a feeling for the decisive moment and for irony as well as the hard facts of a present that has survived a vanquished past. He might be considered the Kipling of the Empire on which the sun has set.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1965
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston