THE LIGHT INFANTRY BALL by Hamilton Basso

THE LIGHT INFANTRY BALL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this second major novel, Hamilton Basso has turned back the leaves of social history to draw a vigorous portrait of Pompey's Head as the Confederacy came into being. One finds a sense of immediacy as the issues are drawn, emotions run high, and families find themselves on different sides, even if loyalties force positions upon them. John Bottomley becomes more deeply involved than he had thought necessary, from the remoteness of the plantation he was managing for his father; a duel is forced upon him by a fire eater of the fanatical sort; his younger brother disappears, running away from his fears and responsibilities; racial tensions heighten antagonisms scarcely sensed before; and motives seem not wholly clear when a chance to serve the new Confederacy's presidential cabinet offers a way out. A way of life in a southern town comes vividly alive, and if at times the design of the story turns back upon itself and the pace slows down, one can forgive it for the richness of the tapestry, the realized penetration of character, and the integrity of the interpretation of the climate of opinion.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1959
Publisher: Doubleday