ALL OVER THE TOWN by R. F. Delderfield
Kirkus Star


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Delderfield as Frank Capra--which isn't really an unlikely role at all, especially if you imagine a sort of British-seaside Jimmy Stewart as Nat Hearn, an RAF officer who comes home from The War to take up his old job as assistant editor and put-upon peon at Sandcombe's weekly Clarion (circ. 4000), a sleepy civic calendar with adverts covering the front page, outraged editorials on ""Modern Youth,"" and all policy adapted to the interests of heavy advertisers and print-shop customers. But postwar Nat is a new Nat, and when Editor-Tyrant Sam Vane drops dead in St. Luke's Road, new Nat decides--urged and accompliced by nononsense reporter Mollie (Jean Arthur lives!)--to make a real paper out of the Clarion. The local amateur operetta monopolized by a superannuated directoringenue? ""Musical Annual Stillborn in Parish Hall."" The Town Council Plan to build new housing far from the desirable, central neighborhoods--on a Town Councillor's bus route and near another Councillor's grocery? Exposed! Advertisements are withdrawn, the staff is induced to strike, the presses collapse, but Nat, Mollie, the timid Clarion owner, and ""Aunt Maria"" (the old, almost forgotten flatbed press) stay up all night and get out the inky-fingered Truth. Good Chaps (a bit tactless) vs. Bad Chaps (not really evil), with the rituals of small-town life endearingly savaged--minor work from a minor master, as indispensably unnecessary as a cosy for the tea.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Simon & Schuster