REPORT TO SAINT PETER by Hendrik Willem Van Loon


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The appeal of this lies largely in the sense of feeling that one is again listening to Van Loon talking. It is only a fragment of the autobiography he had intended to write, about one quarter which he had roughed in before his untimely death. These 150 pages take us up to his thirteenth year, by a meandering route, in which one is always conscious of the adult Van Loon looking back over his own shoulder at the boy he had been, and back of him wandering down bypaths of the history of mankind. The slender thread of his own story is continually interrupted by mature comments on the world we live in, on the destruction of the scenes of his boyhood by the Nazi airforce. There are bits of personal recall, less nostalgic than the average reminiscence, for he seemed to have slight fondness for the small boy who grew up in a Rotterdam that held only limited stimulus or fascination, a The Hague that opened new doors to an adolescent spirit. As is inevitable in an unfinished work, this is an uneven book, a teaser for the ""report to aint Peter"" 'which Van Loon has made in person...

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 1947
Publisher: Simon & Schuster