10 JANUARY 1931, Page 25

THE GLADIATOR. By Nicolai Gubsky. (Elkin Mat- hews and Marrot.

'is. 6c1.)—This is a sympathetic study of the emotional development experienced by an introspective young Russian Civil Servant under the old regime. He falls P O R T ABLE

in love with a young girl who is emotionally deficient, and

the course of his relations with her provides the theme of . the book. They are interrupted by an affair with the Russian equivalent of a midinette, and by his meetings with the fantastic Tavrov, the " gladiator," who typifies the force of selflessness in personal relations, and profoundly affects at critical periods, the behaviour of Kanshin, the hero. The theme is handled as an idyll, somewhat in the Russian manner, but with a difference. We suspect that Mr. Gubsky was educated in England—he writes in English—and that this is his idealized interpretation of the Russia of his extraction. It is an extremely attractive one.