A MURMUR OF MUTINY by Marshall Pugh


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Some mini-massacres and side-switching in the midst of a rightist military takeover of a royalist Arab government, previously defended by ""irregulars"" under the command of British officers, make this morally ambiguous tale about a British parachute troop sent to the Middle Eastern kingdom of Akdhar decidedly a cut above the typical adventure yarn. The debacle may be Britain's dying colonial gasp east of the Suez, or a deucedly clever way of wrenching Akdhar's (non-existent) oil interests away from the Americans -- but either way Max, a former anarchist who joined up as lieutenant to subvert the structure from the inside (but just possibly to avenge his father who was wrongly given a dishonorable), finds that moral delicacy and flipness towards discipline derive more from laziness than conviction. The first-person narration moves quickly through the maze of mutual exploitation that characterizes Anglo-Arab relationships, plus much incidental but interesting information about the peculiar combination of inflexibility and decency that makes the British volunteer army an infinitely more attractive and democratic institution than its American counterpart.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1972
Publisher: Harper & Row