BEGGARS ON HORSEBACK by James Mossman

BEGGARS ON HORSEBACK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There is something savagely humorous, terrifyingly awesome, yet momentously trivial in the range of human babble as colonial servants crowd toward the exits in the course of Nationalist takeovers of underdeveloped Afro-Asian countries, and this novel, more or less, lays about on all sides. An oil field country, Maroufi, ruled by an obese, decadent, somewhat deranged Farouk, with a group of wily native military and political leaders, is ripe for revolution. The British colonial, sensing the currents but lulled by decades of attention to the tight ship of Bismarckian maneuvering, earnestly negotiates. The revolution is startlingly swift-- the king is assassinated, rioting kills and violates, and a native leader rapidly takes over and assumes dictatorial powers. Nudged by the U.S., Britain drops the reins. A number of people, among them an Englishman Simon and his good friend Hakim, a Maroufi, attempt to topple the native leader. The friendship of Simon and Hakim, sundered by chauvinism, is melded again by an honest concern for human decency and both break away from their governments' Establishments. Others in transit include an erring wife returned to home and husband, a bleak homosexual pair, minor grafters, plotters and career men.... A quick glimpse-- perhaps too quick in spots-- of a vanishing breed, but often knowing.

Publisher: Little, Brown- A.M.P.