SPIRAL ROAD by Jan de Hartog
Kirkus Star


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An immense book- in size, in scope, in penetration, which more than justifies the confidence felt by those of us who liked The It could not be more different, with its sprawling sweep, moving from Amsterdam's underworld to the remote jungles of the Dutch East Indies. The central character, a young doctor who is committed to a span of service in the field of jungle medicine goes through a grim personal catharsis of mind and spirit as he meets unexpected challenges of adventure, danger, brutality, as he encounters other men in the colonial service, men who have touched bottom, men who have reached for the stars. Doctor Anten finds his greatest professional fulfillment against incredible odds, but a final encounter with the hatred of the uncivilized natives of the deep jungle almost proves his nemesis. One feels and smells the jungle; one shudders from the depravity and horror and savagery; one responds to the flashes of beauty in nature and the human spi. It is a gripping tale, which reveals de Hartog as a man who knows the area of which he writes and the impact it has on the men assigned to cope with it.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1957
Publisher: Harper