THE DRUMS OF TONKIN by Helen & Frank Schreider


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Perhaps only if you had accompanied the Schreiders (and you'll wish you had) on their trip through the hundreds of islands of Indonesia could you keep all the arrivals and departures sorted and the islands individualized in your mind. Most readers will sink back from the last page with only a long, ravishing blur to remember. The paradisiacal beauty is endless and Mr. Schreider, who seems to have done the actual writing) has found a vari-colored prose style to match the procession of skies, foods, saronged natives, gamboling children, teeming cities, isolated villages, rites, festivals and heavy seas. The Schreiders make their journey in an amphibious Jeep, a WW II model, and are accompanied by their German shepherd, Dinah. There are moments of danger when the motor dies while they cross the Lombok Strait and are nearly swept to sea during a storm. There are exotic explosions of activity by villages having a bull race or a happy, laughing mass cremation ceremony. And there is officialdom, ubiquitous and maddening because of political turmoil throughout the islands. All of it has an enviable drive.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1963
Publisher: Coward-McCann