OSBORNE'S ARMY by John Anthony West


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Again the froth cum parody cum pratfall comedy of Mr. West's earlier Call Out the Malicia. This new novel features a band of angelic intellectuals who are hounded out of the New York-Madrid-London-Paris circuit by the oppressive delights of civilized life and take refuge on the Caribbean island Eden of Escondite. There they cultivate a Rousseauesque existence. Osborne, the leader, writes a satire of history; Pierce, the novelist, novelizes; Rosoff, the artist, indulges his art; Janine, the nymphomaniac--she indulges hers too. Arcadia, however, succumbs to Philistia with the arrival of the ""developers"" from some mysterious land to the north, and soon the island bristles with towers, taverns, tourists and other totems of twentieth-century tribal living. The Adams and Eve of yesterday, opining that ruins are better than ratraces, in one gloriously final act of incurable sanity set off an explosive charge that tumbles the towers of civilization; and the Serpent is blown out of the Garden. This is little-league satire, aspiring to a brittle-brightness which, because of Mr. West's occasionally too-heavy hand, it does not always attain. Still, the book as a whole is pleasurable and one can think of much worse ways to spend an afternoon.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1967
Publisher: Morrow