GIANT'S ARROW by Samuel Youd


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Under various pseudonyms Samuel Youd has written a number of what he calls ""entertainments"". The Opportunist was published under his own name in 1956. This novel, supposedly of serious intent, is developed along two main lines: the battle for control of an old fashioned English manufacturing firm and the more tenuous religious conflicts of the firm's ineffectual president. Michael Kelly, a Catholic married to an embittered agnostic, discovers that the company his father founded on idealistic principles is being grossly manipulated by the efficient social climber, Devere. But Michael, who seems to be a rather fey young man, is powerless against Devere until he manages to disengage himself from his faith. It seems that Michael's religion, for some obscure reason, has depended on the longevity of his idiot daughter. Her death provides the denouement for the book's quite conventional but pretentious characters: it releases Naomi Kelly from a self-inflicted torment; it enables Kelly, whose ""love"" has been a weakness, to act; and deviously, it seems to save the company. There is the sub-plot of a love affair between Devere and Kelly's secretary which destroys Devere's wife and ends in mutual disillusionment for the two accomplices. The story is readable enough but its superimposed religious speculations serve only to compound the confusion of the book's sufficiently distraught characters.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1960
Publisher: Simon & Schuster