AGENTS AND WITNESSES by P. H. Newby

AGENTS AND WITNESSES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The publishers feel this is a more saleable book than its predecessor, A Journey to the Interior (see 1946-P. 394), which was a rather tantalizingly almost good story of the near East. This again takes a setting, rather bizarre and remote from the normal, an island called Sanlikos in the Mediterranean, where the postwar period finds an odd assortment of varying nationals -- and revolution ripe. The central character is a restless young architect, Pierre, who envies his superior Pirelli, and who tries to envision himself as the real head architect locally. He gets himself involved on the fringes of civil unrest through the daughters of his neighbor, Mrs. Keats- has a mild affaire, from which he escapes, with one daughter, while the other is tied up with the abortive revolution staged by her boss, the newspaper editor, and his mentor, the son of Soureili Pasha, of dubious past. There's a bit of side excursion in the story of Dr. Pegia, unhappy malaria specialist, who does away with himself when he finds his goal receding. As a matter of fact, nothing projected in the story comes to a head- it's all rather amorphous and confused, and told on the surface of exaggeration, caricature, if you will, of the Norman Douglas, South Wind genre. And yet one is still conscious of an elusive sort of charm in the author's style and conveying of mood.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 1947
Publisher: Doubleday