From Signed with these Honor to the present book, James Aldridge has had one factor in his favor. Uneven as the books have been, all of them have had something to say beyond the frame of plot. Heroes of the Empty View is perhaps his most important work, and implicit in its picture of the conflicts, the contradictions, the dilemmas of the Arabs with whose lot his Englishman, Gordon, has identified himself, there is the wider view of the battle for freedom in a world where a machine-ruled society is becoming the rule. Betrayed by his friends, Gordon suffers exile from his beloved desert tribes, and finds, back in England, other problems as perplexing as those of the Arabs. The girl he had loved was become a Communist. His family, impractical, unworldly, expect him to solve their problems. His friends want his rare gifts and his magnetism to become identified somewhere in Britain's troubled political picture. This is definitely a book for these times. Difficult to read, for Aldridge still is oddly mannered and tends to overwrite, the end result is worth the effort.