THE CROSS OF LAZZARO by John Harris

THE CROSS OF LAZZARO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The town of Cadivescovo stands in the Tyrol between Austria and Italy and, although the villagers are primarily of German descent, the town was ceded to Italy in 1918. Political strife has hit the town with a pro-Nazi underground blowing up the Italians with plastic bombs. The strife is complicated by the discovery in nearby Lake Colleno of theburied Italian city of Arcuneum, circa 500 A.D. One of the earliest Christian towns, Arcunem is of immense interest to Rome, the Germans, scientific investigators and to tourist-minded villagers of Cadivescovo. Also, a hysterical sense of the miraculous has settled upon the discovered city. Henry Chappell, an English lecturer and engineer, has estimated that a huge dam overhanging the living city and the buried city is going to burst this summer. The only alternative is to open some rusted floodgates in the dam and allow the mud to flow down into the lake and doubly bury the miracle city. Should the living be saved at the cost of losing the past? The climax is melodramatic but features a very satisfying disaster as many smug folk get washed into the hereafter. However the characterization is perfunctory.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1965
Publisher: Morrow-Sloane