THIS book, winner of a war novel prize, is another document on the fall of France. Written by a young Englishman who lived through much of what he has made into fiction, it is the story of an Englishman fighting in the French Army as the Germans sweep into France. When the French retreat river by river, past the heartbreaking Marne, the author and his hero, Dormant, question the whys and hows of the catastrophe. Captured by the Germans, the hero escapes, and the larger part of the book becomes a picaresque novel of a thousand and one adventures encountered by the Englishman, who is hunted by Germans and French alike as he flees in disillusion and disgust through France. It is a novel of action — action which sprawls rather uncontrolledly and becomes a series of melodramatic episodes unified only by the hero’s appearance in each.