THE MANY-COLORED COAT by Morley Callaghan


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This is a novel by the author of Strange Fugitive, More Joy in Heaven, The Loved and the Lost, which is devoted to a serious theme: the complexities of innocence and justice. Unfortunately the plot is worked out in such an unbelievably petty way that it's very difficult, after a while, to take any of it very seriously. Harry Lane is a young public relations man whose great charm win him friends and influence. He befriends a middle class bank manager who is envious of Harry's way of life and who later involves Harry in an embezzlement. The bank manager, Bowman, goes to jail then commits suicide and Harry's reputation is blackened. Though actually he is innocent, outwardly it appears that Harry used his friend's position in the bank for his own gain. Now jobless, Lane sets out to justify himself and he does this by harassing the tailor who was a character witness for Bowman: he attempts to make the tailor a laughing stock because he did a poor job on Harry's suit. The process of attrition works though it nearly destroys Harry and the girl he is in love with. In the end, having already arranged his vindication, Harry realizes that he was in a way responsible for Bowman simply because of what he was. The publishers call this a major modern novel and will support it with widespread advertising.

Publisher: Coward-McCann