THE ORDEAL OF MAJOR GRIGSBY by John Sherlock

THE ORDEAL OF MAJOR GRIGSBY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Major Grigsby, a superannuated expert on guerrilla warfare, is returned to alaya to train anti-Communist native bands in his grisly art. Chen, now the Communist guerrilla leader, had been his pupil during the Japanese occupation. General urke-White, the epitome of British Throttlebottom colonial maladministration, is rigsby's foremost antagonist. His plan to stem Malayan nationalism and Communist directed sabotage involves the razing of whole towns and the incarceration of the inhabitants behind barbed wire to be ""rehabilitated"" with democratic principles. Then the three men operate as symbolic figureheads in a fictional expose of Malayan politics they are effective. However, in trying to make them something more, the distortion becomes grotesque. Grigsby, at the start a sympathetic figure, behaves irrationally-- first as a quasi-gentleman and diamond-in-the-rough and then with a lunatic grossness. In the throes of a fatal malaria, an obligatory sex scene is imposed, with Grigsby on his hospital bed with Burke-White's wife. The impotence of imperialism (whether communist or British) is reflected in the major figures--hen celibate by Party order, Burke-White frigid by tradition, and Grigsby, nearly ies trying. The rigged execution of a retarded Malayan girl, Burke-White's last reachery, is the final reflection of corruption. A political novel, fast and hard hitting, for a male audience that will appreciate the pace even if the fictional package is too small.

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1964
Publisher: Morrow