THE BARBARY LIGHT by P. H. Newby

THE BARBARY LIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Newby establishes his genius for unravelling tangled threads in the interior pilgrimages of inconsequential people in modest circumstances. In this intense novel, three tormented souls reach out toward each other, but, blown by the winds of inadequacy, they pass into frustration and loneliness. Accountant Hanner, just forty, accepts two new turns of events with some irritation but surprise - his mistress, Alex, is brought into his home by Owen's wife Sybil; Owen finds himself involved in bilking an elderly factory owner out of factory and funds. The breaking point seems to have been reached, but Owen's lifelong expectation of a bright new line on the horizon, a beast in the jungle, is the chimera hat blinds him to understanding and action. The threat of an ouster from his profession, and the abrasive personalities about him, lead to a violent, traumatic series of incidents in which he gropes for reality and meaning as in a death throe. Finally Owen strips illusion from himself, he and Alex part with little regret, and Owen and (who also faces the need for a weary independence) touch hands in the bleak, unfriendly but real light of day. Published recently in England, this novel reveals style that is well schooled and sensitive.

Pub Date: March 4th, 1964
Publisher: Lippincott