20 JULY 1878, Page 24

The Child of the Desert. By Colonel the Hon. C.

S. Vereker. 3 vols. (Chapman and Hall.)—Colonel Vereker is doubtless familiar with the scenes—in Algeria and the Desert—in which he places bis story. But neither this familiari ty, n or the novelty of the life which he seeks to picture, nor the unfamiliar aspect of the personages whom he seeks to introduce to us, avails to give sufficient interest to the book. The characters are prosy to a degree that is really intolerable; they talk so much, and so little like to anything that one hears from actual lips, that it is almost impossible to struggle through the 900 pages (more or less) in which their sayings and doings are recorded. It is impossible to help feeling a gloomy and sinister satisfaction when the third volume ends with a pretty general massacre of the persona from whom we have been suffer- ing, and we feel that these bores, at least, are extinct for ever, and will not again torment humanity. There is incident in the book, not ill conceived ; if the conversations had been rigorously suppressed, we might have had a fairly readable story. Still even then the author would have had to amend his style, and not employ such strange language as he does in describing Henry Wilton, as "every inch a man, with a lion's heart, and a parching, consuming thirst for the life-blood of vengeance."