THE FRIEND by Perry Wolff


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A first novel of the front lines of the past war which has a certain quiet realism but no strong story interest, this deals- alternately- with the soldiers of an infantry outfit. Concentrating on one incident during the Battle of the Bulge, there is the uneasy silence which precedes the action, the constant of fear to which all are susceptible, the reluctance of the men who have had only a month of seasoning. It is more particularly, privately, the story of Leon Harris, the historian, and his friendship for Roger Stoddard who wants to be sent back from the front. With the ambushing of K Company in which Stoddard is caught and from which he alone escapes, Harris agrees to cover up for the Colonel in his official report in exchange for Stoddard's transfer to Paris. And in so doing he recognizes the shifting nature of his relationship with Stoddard which is motivated by identification rather than friendship... There are, however, no salient qualities here to indicate a definite audience.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1950
Publisher: Crown