THE PEACOCK by Jon Godden
Kirkus Star


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In a prose which is exquisite and effective, with an intensity which is suggested rather than externalized as in her last year's The House by the Sea, this is an unusual book which is again particularly sensitive to the pressure of place- this time the jungle, in India, where after several years five people have returned to hunt. Here, insistently conveyed, is the heavy overcast of the jungle, its quick excitement and its monotony, its inviolability and its a which evades these five- all ridden by private tensions and tortures. There is Eric, once a soldier, contemptuous of his war-maimed body and hoping to salve his self-respect in the killing of a tiger; Kay, defensive, insecure, restless; Alice, whose childlike innocence and incalculable charm has affected them all at one time or another and who now regrets the indefinable dissolution of her marriage; Philip, her husband, victimized by jealousy. Together again, as in earlier years, none finds the way back to the promise the past had once held; Philip's resentment finds expression in a final desecration the shooting of a peacock; and the jungle, implacable and still inacessible, has its revenge when the camp- and Eric- are destroyed by an elephant which goes smok.... A book which exerts a real fascination but which is for the more discerning reader.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1950
Publisher: Rinehart