A BAR OF SHADOW by Laurens van der Post

A BAR OF SHADOW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Appearing first in the Cornhill, English reports on this short episode seem to have been all out: as a small book it carries a moral -- and emotional-message which is perhaps less holding because of the attempt to make that message take effect. Given the reunion of two English war prisoners of the Japanese and the mutual memory of their demonic enemy sergeant, the development of ""Rottang"" Hara's rule, terrible and torturing, is searched for its ""moon-swung...embodiment"" of Japanese mythology and character, whose love and aim is death in birth. Hara's unexpected approval and respect for ""Fazeru Kurisumasu"" (Father Christmas); his unrelenting drive -- to the death -- of his prisoners; his adherence to his code -- this predisposes John Lawrence later when Hara is before the War Crimes Tribunal. When Hara asks Lawrence, before his hanging, what he had done wrong, he imposes a sense of guilt for all mankind -- is it right for one culture to judge another which is different? Definitely a sermon in what might have been a memorable reading experience, even though it may not lack a market.

Publisher: Morrow