THE FIFTH SEAL by Mark Aladanov


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This is a rather disjointed and sprawly novel of men and women in literary and diplomatic circles in Paris of the '30's. Through the medium of conversations and soliloquies the confusion and uncertainties of the times, against a suggested background of mood keyed by the Russian upheaval, the Spanish war, with actual plot or development of the various groups of characters taking second place. The author succeeds in making some of his individuals interesting enough, but has utterly failed to develop his parts into a compelling whole. In spite of a certain facility of style, the result is long, tedious and unrewarding reading, and one feels that the style may be due to the skill of the translator rather than the talent of the author himself.

Publisher: Scribner