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Shuto's name has sales value- hence the placing of this new title under Must Books. Furthermore it is a Literary Guild selection for April -- added impetus to distribution.... The book itself seems to me oddly lacking in Shuto's usual quality which skirts the edge of emotion skin to sentimentality, while managing to escape going over that border. This is a story told on two levels of time, as John Turner, learning that he has but nine months to live, tries to catch up with the things he had planned to do. The war has brought three men into his life, three failures whose future- at the time of his knowing them- looked as dark as his own. He knows he has had what is perhaps unmerited measure of success, and feels he should share that with them. So he sets out to find them -- and this comprises the main body of the story. Phil Morgan, boy pilot, has shed the wife who would have ruined him, and in far-off Burma, has found in himself unsuspected qualities of leadership -- and married a native girl of the upper class. Dave Lesurier, Negro accused of rape, had been cleared of suspicion, and -- after the war- had returned to England, where he had an even chance, and married an English girl. Even Duggie Brent had put behind him the training for death and found an abundant way of life. In itself, each story has values, but the whole lacks the sense of suspense one looks for in Shute. The race angle will puzzle some and offend others. But Shute tells a good yarn, better than most. Watch it.

Pub Date: March 26th, 1947
Publisher: Morrow