RETURN TO THE HAPPY ISLANDS by James Kruss

RETURN TO THE HAPPY ISLANDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Telling of his remarkable adventures on The Happy Islands Behind the Winds (1966, p. 1097 J-363), Captain Daworin Madirankowitsch hinted at a return, here accomplished. The trouble is that there are no guidelines for the reader who wasn't along on the first trip, and few ground rules for the fantasy that follows. On each of six successive days, the Captain and passengers visit a different island: Santacante, where buildings are composed as music (and Handel leads the tritons in a rendition of the Water Music while white whales wallow); Pintoretto, where a ship starts from brushstrokes (and Rembrandt keeps a lion to scare away autograph hunters); Bellavera, the domicile of ""all writers of fairy tales and children's stories...and all the animals and people appearing in their stories""--and so on. It's inventive, it's ingenious, it's sometimes clever (and sometimes coy), but it's mostly disconnected conjuring and it becomes tiresome. Where the first book established the Happy Islands as a sophisticated utopia and had something to say about the essence of happiness, this is largely wish-fulfillment on the confectionery and flying saucer level with occasional sorties into cultural esoterica.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1967
Publisher: Atheneum