A DARK HORSE: NO ARMS, NO ARMOUR by Robert Henriques
Kirkus Star

A DARK HORSE: NO ARMS, NO ARMOUR

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This labors under a certain handicap-cum-impetus, -- the All Nations Prize, which will make the critics look at it through a microscope; the selection as the January Literary Guild adds another fillip to sales interest. So -- it is scarcely a dark horse in the sense that it comes to the line with some advance hurrah boys. But in its possibilities it remains a dark horse.... A semi-psychological, semi-metaphysical novel, a sort of adventure in self-discovery, perhaps overly explicit in its delineation of the undercurrents of man's inner world, but none the less a vigorous piece of work, though not a subtle one. It is very competent, but to our way of thinking, it lacks the divine spark. The setting is effectively handled -- the British army, first at home, then in Africa, but it counts little in the actual plot of the story. The central character is a personable but unthinking young officer, who comes under the influence of two older men, one representing the tolerant, genuine love of humanity, the other an embittered, sardonic approach to life. Through them, Tubby learns to question rather than to accept and eventually emerges as a human being rather than a figurehead. There is adventure -- and romance -- and a much better than average story. Should prove popular with men, and with those who liked Frankau's The Royal Regiment, but thought it might have been better. The metaphysical aspects slow the pace of the story a bit -- but remember the success of the Bengal Lancer and go after that market too.

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 1939
Publisher: Farrar & Rinehart