THE SIEGE OF BATTERSEA by Robert Holles

THE SIEGE OF BATTERSEA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Batasi in West Africa-i.e. Battersea in the inimitable idiom of the British Army here, is a town in a new nation where a British battalion is stationed, largely in a tutelary capacity. Its Tunes of Glory Regimental Sgt. Major Lauderdale, a rough spoken man who has little use for politics but a deep respect for soldering, has a competent command of his unit. But the ""voice of the new republic"" is heard; the native Captain Abraham who had hoped to avoid the rabid insurgence of the Congo is shot; and an undisciplined African, Lt. Boniface, goes amok and takes control. Lauderdale, who views the ""misunderstanding with a certain amount of contemptible sang-froyd"", refuses Boniface's demands, but finally-like Abraham- proves to be expendable in the volte-face which parallels the turmoil of the times... Neither as savage, nor perhaps as subtle, as the earlier Captain Cat (1960), this tells its small story with a good humored realism and without asides, permits the short episode to speak for itself. It is likeable, but limited in its appeal for American readers who may be put off by the rowdy Cockney vernacular.

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 1962
Publisher: Macmillan