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From the original 1957 edition: To catalogue the compelling qualities of this astonishing novel is a challenge of no small proportions. It is a novel of pursuit and adventure, as thrilling as any that has come down the pike in many a year, comparable, we think, to the best of Graham Greene and Eric Ambler.
It is a novel of, for want of a better phrase, the “inner man” - the turbulent processes by which man’s thoughts and emotions are translated into action, gentle or violent as the case may be. It is a novel that pinpoints some of the most powerful forces - social and political - at work in the world today, revealing them in sharpest focus.
It is a novel of love and romance, a strange love, a stranger romance, touching - and touched with beauty. For all of these things, and for the sheer reading pleasure that is their sum, it is a noteworthy performance which cannot be recommended too highly.
The story tells of the pursuit by a political police officer of a youth under sentence who escapes and tries to fight his way to freedom. Circumstance leads pursuer and pursued to an island where dwell simple folk whose way of life is governed by primitive laws adequate to a society untouched by the mainland’s chaos and revolution. The crisis provoked by the intrusion of the strangers makes one of the most intriguing situations in a book that abounds in constant surprise. And the bizarre nature of the pursuit provides countless moments of excitement, underscored by a love affair of mingled ecstasy and terror.Buy now for Kindle