THE GOLDEN CALF by Louis Vaczek

THE GOLDEN CALF

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The world of polyglots, World War II version, takes on a new dimension and a new outlawry for this story- of two Americans -- Caldwell Neal and Dr. Benjamin Biggers,- the Hungarian refugees, Count and Countess de Kardosi and their daughter, Margit,- the anti-Communist Deputy, Dupuis, and his insane wife, Colette,- Captain Lefrere of the Police,- and the Soviet Embassy attache Grustilov. 1949 sees Dupuis' need to break off Colette's affairs with Grustilov -- and hire Neal, whose price is entree to a world above the black market, to kill him. It marks the Countess' determination -- as implacable as that which helped them escape from Hungary during the war, and which resulted in rape by Grustllov -- to rid herself of the Russian's fascination when she sees him again in Paris. It leads Neal to believe himself in love with Margit. Neal, watching his plans to murder Grustilov, sees the Countess stab him, makes use of this to forward his pursuit of Margit, and, when Communist and political pressure blows sky high, effects his escape with Margit. Then, intent on his utter independence, when he murders coldly in Italy, Margit learns it is she who loves and he who will master circumstance- and leaves knowing he will build a new, still undemanding, still uncaring, fortune and opportunist career. Watched bitterly and abjectly by Biggers and almost admiringly by Lefrere, this comments dispassionately on the new order, which takes little notice of the old, and marks with compassion the futile effectiveness of love. And it is, for all its probing and projecting of a mal du temps, tense in action.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1955
Publisher: Morrow-Sloane