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This is definitely out of the groove -- a story with an authentic ring that traces the disillusionment of Happy Boy, sometimes known as ""Camel"", as one ambition and one ideal after another collapses on him. The story is set in Peking and its environs; the time is contemporary, though war clouds are only dimly on the horizon and there is no echo of social revolution beyond a tiny glimpse Happy Boy catches. His sole aim is to own his own rickshaw; his country-bred ideals keep him straight and honest. And he finds repeatedly that his own rickshaw is at best an evanescent goal; and honesty is not always the best policy. He is shanghalied -- loses his first rickshaw and his hard-earned clothes -- and is put into ragged uniform; he escapes, taking as his right, three mangy camels -- and is not followed or recaptured; he loses his new savings -- the price of a life -- and is condemned by a trick to marriage with Tiger Girl -- then loses her and their stillborn son and his second rickshaw; he tries to rebuild his life and character along accepted lines -- that too is dust and ashes. At the close, finding again the girl he loves and taking her from a bawdy house, he sees once more a gleam of hope in life ahead. Simply told -- with resultant impact.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1945
Publisher: Reynal & Hitchcock