18 SEPTEMBER 1909, Page 25

The Third Circle. By Frank Norris. (John Lane. 6s.)—This is

a series of remarkable sketches and short stories by the late Mr. Frank Norris. As suggested in the introduction, they are especially interesting as showing the growth of his talent, but they are well worth reading for their intrinsic merit. The first one, "The Third Circle," gives an absolutelY horrifying account of the disappearance of an English girl in Chinatown, San Francisco, and the story called The Caged Lion" will also thrill its readers. The account of the sadden extinction of the electric light, and the consequent failure of the trainer's influence over hi.s lions, is most dramatically given. The last story, "The Guest of Honour," is perhaps too fanciful, though its presence at the end of the book cannot fail to be touching. The anthropomorphism which sees death personified as an individual is not altogether attractive, but the account of the annual dinner, with its gradually diminishing number of guests, is very striking. The book, altogether, is well worth reading, even though the sketches are unequal.