A FEW FLOWERS FOR SHINER by Richard Llewellyn


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As different from both of his earlier books- How Green Was My Valley and None But the Lonely Heart as they were from each other- this introduces yet another Llewellyn. An adventure story-the setting Italy, just at the time when the British forces were being shifted under the American, as the war moved northward, leaving a trail of devastation, death and disintegration behind it. Snowy and his beloved truck, ""Rosie"", was going ""on leave"" to southern Italy to visit the grave of his chum, Shiner. To his annoyance, he was assigned a new mate, Bill- and the first days were filled with recriminations, gratuitous insults thrust at each others' divisions, and reluctantly growing mutual like and respect. Then they acquired two traveling companions- an American, AWOL, and a woman, footing it south to see her husband, a prisoner of war. He was a Prince- she an expatriate American, and Snowy, despite his worship of the wife in England, found himself violently attracted to her. The days gathered momentum as adventure piled on adventure, and quixotic side- excursions in aid of the underdogs- the refugees thronging the way- the displaced persons- the starved women and children ending up with a melodramatic melee, a miniature comic opera civil war waged against a gang of deserters, desperadoes, black marketeers, the dregs of all armies and civilians. Then Nature takes a hand with a volcanic eruption, and as the story ends, Bill and Snowy- and a recovered Rosie are back with their amalgamated units- and Max, the American, has been accepted as a legitimate casualty of war, at the American hospital. Eccentric adventure- much of it in very British cockney terms- realistic, occasionally bawdy, now and again with a touch of humor, of bravado, and with some emotional impact. Not everyone's meat.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1949
Publisher: Macmillan