THE CURTAIN RISES by Quentin Reynolds
Kirkus Star


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Dress Rehearsal""-Dieppe -- ""The Curtain Rises""-Teheran-Russia -- North Africa -- Sicily -- Italy, -- and Quentin Reynolds as commentator par excellence on the pageant of war. He has a faculty for sharing experience, so that the reader feels a part of whatever scene he describes. At the start, one feels in The Curtain Rises that this is old stuff, but as one goes along, the freshness and vividness and originality of his reporting gives even familiar scenes new significance. From Miami holiday in March 1943, to North Africa and Teheran, with a closeup of the amazing transport achievements (and possibly even more important rapprochement with Russia); then Moscow and a human continuity of the lives of the correspondents, atrocity stories that have a ring of authenticity, comment on the Davies' visit and the reception of Mission to Moscow film, enthusiastic pen portrait of Ambassador Standley and a bit of inside on his deliberate Lend-Lease ""break"", a warm picture of the Russian soldier, the Russian citizen, and their essential likeableness, a moving picture of living conditions, food, clothes, work, a hint at the story of the interned American fliers, and the most reasonable exposition of the Russian-Polish tension, its basis, its future, that I have read. Next the Near East -- the Arab-Jewish problem lightly touched upon, Cairo, North Africa, the amusing episode of the room shared with the Vice Consul and a handpicked group of correspondents, the miracle man, and the already famous Steinbeck story. The bombing of Rome as seen from the briefing quarters. A PT boat to the Sicilian front; and the truth behind the smoke screen of Sicily. Salerno inferno -- and none too laudatory a picture of Italian non-collaboration. Terry Allen and Eisenhower and Montgomery and Patton - tributes all. The story of the ""Mighty May"" as a typical destroyer tale. And throughout, high praise for the American Army, the American Navy, the American fighting man and the American leadership -- abroad and at home, and a sharp indictment on the pettifogging complaints and criticism that disrupt the American spirit and morale. Swell reading -- topnotch reporting.

Pub Date: March 6th, 1944
Publisher: Random House