GLORY FOR ME by MacKinlay Kantor


Email this review


With the problem of the returning veteran fast upon us, any book dealing with the subject carries -- for the moment -- its weight of challenge and interest. Beyond that moment, the value of the book, be it fiction or non-fiction, lies in the perceptiveness, the rightness of the book itself. On those two counts, Glory for Me rates high. The format -- at first approach -- seems a hurdle; it is that difficult anomaly, a novel in verse. Perhaps it gains a certain sharpness of outline, a certain emotional impact. It isn't particularly significant as poetry. But somehow the three men, fellowtownsmen first met when homeward bound, ""honorably discharged"", catch ones interest and imagination and hold it. Where Priestley and Henriquos have told similar stories -- stories revealing the closeness of the link that the war has forged, the disillusionment and shock of readjustment, Kantor, in writing of American boys and an American town, comes closer to our own awareness. And, writing out of his own intimate knowledge of the men in the line, of experience shared, he makes his characters very convincing: -- Derry, one time soda jerker, now an ex-officer, coming back to a faithless chippy of a wife, and to a feeling that the war has brought him a bigger conception than the drugstore job can fill; Stephenson, middle aged banker, who chose to be a non- at the front instead of a swivel chair officer, cannot accept the role of small-town banker; Koner Wermels, who might have been finishing High School, seeks escape in drink and sordidness from the knowledge of the prison of his wrecked body. A book that has little to offer by way of an answer -- but that should make civilians more aware, more understanding, of problems ahead. Not a great book, but a very human one, and Kantor's reputation will get it started.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1945
Publisher: Coward, McCann