This Above All

By Eric KnightHARPERS
THERE is some superb narration in this book. One might select as a complete short story in itself the account of how General Hamish officiates at the birth of a calf during a Nazi bombardment, or that of the rescue of a woman and a child from a bombed building. And it is hard to believe that a better narrative of the events before and during the evacuation of Dunkirk, as seen by men of the infantry, could be written than Monty’s epic in the vernacular of his and Clive’s escape. These, however, are episodes. The novel as a whole is both a romance of love and a debate on war. The debate is carried on with great spirit by Clive and Prudence and Monty, and in the course of it everything is said about England that her idolaters or her direst enemies could say; for Clive and Prue are very British in their tendency to dissemble their love both of each other and of their country. The almost up-to-the-minute timeliness of the book in no way detracts from its representative quality, because the problems of these young persons are those of all high-minded youth in any period of peril. R. M. G.