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I was fascinated by this -- but in the afterthoughts felt that the idea was better than its final form. The first two thirds are superbly done; the last third has a slight sense of letdown -- she doesn't quite know what to do with the creature she has created. The period is five years after a German victory; the place -- possibly Poland or Czechoslovakia, and a section somewhat removed from the center of the stage, to which a politician who was not 100% sold on the Leader's policies had been sidetracked as Governor. There his old friend, a retired General, also a rebel, visits him, and they dare voice, in secret, criticisms and doubts of the regime. To this place comes a scientist, empowered with authority to use the community as a guinea pig for an experiment in brain surgery, making robots out of men -- and women -- and children. Miss Jameson makes one feel the village, the people living in their memories and their hopes for the future, despite the present. And then memory and thought and hope are taken, and only in an old woman who had not seemed worth the experiment, is tradition kept alive. And in one young woman, who had escaped to bear her child away from the creeping horror, and to raise the child of a friend, who had died bearing him. The final scene is some years later. The old woman still lives; the young woman creeps back, with the children; and in the robots, the effects of the operation are beginning to wear away, glimmerings of memory, stimulated by inanimate things, are starting to make them live and feel again; and to them comes the command, by underground, to join forces with the revolutionaries who will bring freedom to their land. Symbolical -- fantastic -- interpret it as you will, there is compelling quality in the story which starts one's imagination along new lines. And Storm Jameson's style is that rare thing today -- a thing of sure beauty. Try your Nathan fans -- they should like this.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1942
Publisher: Macmillan