FRAIL BARRIER by Philip Gillon


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A laconic, verbatim chronology of the marginal (moral and financial) activities in which Peter Justin, a young lawyer in Johannesburg, is engaged. Peter, who has inherited from his father the principle that one must never betray a client, along with a very insubstantial illusion of wealth, lends the money of a client to a black native, Daniel Mokwena, to help him fight a boycott against his shops. In order to maintain his aid to Daniel, he defaults on his best friend who suicides; tries to beg and borrow from Iris, a first love and incidental mistress; and as his insolvency increases and bankruptcy looms, he turns down the settlement of the case which will jeopardize Daniel but save his neck, only to have a last minute reprieve when Daniel yields to the pressure against his race.... A portrait of an unreliable character with ideals higher than his instincts, of dog eat dog tactics, of South Africa today- roiled by prejudice and hatred between white and black and Indian, English and Afrikaner- this is an honest record, of doubtful appeal.

Pub Date: Feb. 29th, 1952
Publisher: Vanguard