Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 6 (September 1, 1936)



“Green Gates,” by R. C. Sherriff (Victor Gollancz, London; Whitcombe and Tombs, New Zealand Agents) is one of the most human and wholesome stories I have read for many a long day. I don't know whether I am unduly prejudiced in its favour because of the fact that I picked it up after
A New Zealand bookplate of interest to railwayman.

A New Zealand bookplate of interest to railwayman.

an unsuccessful attempt to relish a particularly sex-sodden modern novel, but certainly I entered “Green Gates” as I might a literary paradise. The torch of its human appeal will be carried forward from one reader to another. What happens to a man who is pensioned off by his firm when, though well past middle age, he has the brain and the capacity for more work? As the author puts it: “Freedom—leisure: they were words for inspiration and he was like an old canary with its cage door open, crouching on the furthest end of the perch.” We laugh, we cry and we think terribly as we read this great story of Tom Baldwin and how he spends the evening of his days.

“A Century of Ghost Stories” (Hutchinson, London; Whitcombe and Tombs, New Zealand Agents) is another of the wonderful Century Omnibus Series. Think of it ye would-be shudderers—1,024 pages containing 43 stories by 37 authors! The writers participating in these tombstone frolics, rattling bones and chains so effectively, include Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood, Ambrose Bierce and a host of adepts in graveyard games. Candidl; I love ghost stories, and, methinks, I am far from being alone.

“Sanfelice,” by Vincent Sheehan (Hamish Hamilton, London; Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd., New Zealand Agents) is sufficiently important as an historical novel to warrant a lengthy review, but as I am at the moment overwhelmed with matter for this page, my notice must be compressed into a few lines. While some may disagree with the author's findings from the pages of history, all will admit that he has presented a vital book, one which is the result of much research work. The theme of the story centres around the unsuccessful Jacobin revolt at Naples, in 1799. The author not only pictures the stirring events of that picturesque and somewhat dissolute period, but analyses the mental attitudes of the rovolutionaries and the royalists of the time. Neither is he casual in his pictures of such page 64 notable figures as Lord Nelson, Sir William Hamilton and Lady Hamilton. Luisa Sanfelice, the central figure, captures the imagination as a strange, lovable and tragic woman of the period. A vivid, arresting book, of necessity somewhat “raw” in parts as showing the spirit of the times.

“Sheba Lane,” by H. Drake Brockman (Angus and Robertson, Sydney) is another novel of the Westralian pearling fields by the author of “Blue North.” It is the story of Christopher Kent, an Englishman, who, although of sensitive nature, braves life in the raw at Broome in an endeavour to win a fortune so that he might claim the English girl who is waiting for him. How Kent fails to find the material pearls and overlooks a very human one, makes a sombre but intensely interesting yarn. The author knows his locality well, and while the reader will be immersed in the plot, he will also be interested in the triumphs and tragedies of the hunt for the illusive wealth of the sea-bed. The novel first appeared as a serial in “The Bulletin” under the title of “Men and Pearls.”

“It's in Your Kitchen,” by Sister Bertha Parry (Angus and Robertson, Sydney) is a collection of simple home remedies. I'm glad the book is compact and well-bound for I can see it is going to be the most frequently consulted book in thousands of homes. Sister Parry, who has had a wealth of experience in these matters, explains to us how, from a well-stocked kitchen shelf, we may deal effectively with anything from snake bite to sea-sickness.