A CUP OF TEA FOR MR. THORGILL by Storm Jameson

A CUP OF TEA FOR MR. THORGILL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I wish I could feel that has anything approaching the impact of The Ridden River, but while I realize that the ingredients for a powerful story are here, the characters involved failed wholly to move me. Here we have a segment of Oxford society, a group of shallow people, dominated by The Master, self made and a snob. No one of them captures one's sympathy:- the Senior Tutor, Gurney, who is Greek chorus and commentator, is a sardonic soul; the Pagets, Tom and his sister, Evelyn, seem cynically superior- and, once one knows what goes on below the surface, dangerous; Tom's wife, Primrose, is a tragic-comic figure; Evelyn's husband, Rigden, whose Communism has dominated his shadow life, deliberately throws everything away with an unmotivated gesture towards freedom; Mlies Hudson chooses his moment to denounce the Communism he had favored- to his own ends; and others seem motivated by factors not to their credit. Even Mr. Thorgill is a shadow across the stage. It is a frightening revelation of the dangerous infiltration of Communism into areas considered the cradle of free thought; but the steps as revealed seem so remote that this reader at least found it unconvincing and artificial- and at many moments unpalatable. Dual selection BOM for November- this may well have a succes d'estime.

Publisher: Harper