THE BOAT RACE by John William Rowdon


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This uneven satirical novel stumbles over a long and obscure prologue, moves to a rather obvious attack on the politician and committeeman, improves with an analysis of schoolboy loyalties and the leadership mystic of English public schools, and ends with a crackling spoof on the Oxford-Cambridge boat race. A huge tidal wave completely engulfs one nation and so floods the other that only ten per cent of the population survive. Henry, the politician, is pleased and excited at the prospect of reassuring and organizing the helpless survivors who crowd the highest rooftops. He orders a boat race to maintain morale. The people respond with good heart and soon are furiously betting on the winning margin. Of the characters, only one street urchin is more than a cardboard front for an attitude or type. The author's negative views on sex and the parent-child relationship are evident but not very funny. The boat race and its attendant ceremonies are funny, but the first half of the book would not be missed.

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1961
Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts