19 MAY 1923, Page 21

The Dreamer. By Leopold Spero. (Melrose. 6s.) Mr. Spero's novel

treats of the schooldays and adolescence of a not very unusual young man, and his style does little to compensate for the triteness of his theme. He varies the eternal Etonandmagdalen by sending his hero to a London Grammar School and one of the less illustrious Cambridge Colleges, but fails to make up what he loses in glamour by any corresponding gain in idiosyncratic local colour. The hero has a natural gift for unpopularity without evincing any particular fineness of character to justify it, and the author's treatment of his trip to Germany immediately before the outbreak of the late War is a purely catchpenny and vulgar one. The hero, of course, joins up on the last page ; one suspects that this novel was written several years ago. At any rate, it would be more likely to have met with success then than it is now.