Email this review


A third in the line-up of hollow and tainted men (Feathers of Death- and Brother Cain) this again uses a sharply institutional background (the Army earlier; Cambridge now) for its portrait of a misfit- Richard Fountain, who believes himself to be impotent. Anthony Seymour, who first knew him at public school, and who had once witnessed the clean-minded, conventional, somewhat self-righteous boy display an unexpected, vicious streak, tells his story now, after renewing Fountain's acquaintance at Cambridge where he had become the protege of Walter Goodrich, his Senior Tutor, and been jockeyed by Goodrich into an ""understanding"" with his lumpish daughter, Penelope. Looking for liberation, Fountain takes off for Greece to extend his research into Minoan rites; some months later, through an Inspector, Tyrrel, and Fountain's friend, Piers Clarence, Anthony has every reason to believe that he is seriously in trouble. With Piers, and another, Anthony goes to Greece to find him, the victim of a woman who has cured him of his earlier trouble but caused a greater ""sickness""- vampirism. Her death does not release him from the contagion of this possession, and though they bring him back alive- to Cambridge, it is there that they face the moral and sado-sexual implications of his corruption but are unable to prevent its disastrous backlash.... While many of these ""deplorable"" activities are also unbelievable, Raven, a smooth and facile writer, doctors evil with malice and does not overlook the voyeur potential- in his readers.

Pub Date: May 8th, 1961
Publisher: Simon & Schuster