FIELD OF HONOR by Timeri Murari


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An implausible, faintly saccharine tale about cross-cultural affections and enmities, set in a small Indian state in 1948. Ex-boxer Gunboat, from the Bronx, is more or less stranded in India; he has only a small interest in a bar shared with Indian buddies. So Gunboat is definitely interested when he's approached by Nataraj (Nicky), a rajah's son who wants Gunboat to teach him how to box: Nicky wants to be prepared for a school match with Ian Potter--English and a ""friend."" And Ian, a pleasant boy, turns out to be the son of pushy, race-proud Pamela Hobbs, divorced mistress of Nicky's widower father and in charge of his household. So the match means a lot, obviously, race-supremacy-wise: if Nicky wins, Pamela may lose her hammerlock hold on the rajah, his goods and chattels. Moreover, Pamela is running scared because the rajah's old mother-in-law--the rani--is about to expose Pamela's jewelry-stealing. The big story, however, is a largely corny one: the boxing match and its preparation, during which time Gunboat and Nicky become loyal friends. Nicky's victory--a close call, involving Gunboat's topping Pamela in the use of magic talismans--settles all scores; and Gunboat at last chugs off with his Anglo-Indian girlfriend to the ""U. S. of A."" Some bits of scenic cultural authentica--a tad more inventive than Lovers Are Not People (1977)--but mostly sugared ghee.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1981
Publisher: Simon & Schuster