22 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 60

GREAT SHORT STORIES OF THE WAR. (Eyre and Spottiswoode. 8s.

6d.)—It was, of course, inevitable that a book of this title should be published sooner or later, the surprising thing is that it should be so good. For we have been glutted with War books, and forced to know the Western Front by heart. At first thought it seems as though the publishers have set both themselves and

their readers an impossible task. It seems impossible that they should have crowded the best of an enormous mass of War stuff into a book of 983 pages and even more impossible that we should read a book of War stories of such a length. Yet the tales are so admirably graded and selected that our own difficulties are overcome. There are stories of the Home Front (the best of these, is Mr. Galsworthy's Defeat) of the Front Line and of Battle, Raid and Patrol. There are, alas, only three stories of the Lighter Side of War, of which Saki's Square Egg provides the greatest relief, but the collection is leavened by Strange Stories, Sea Stories and Air Stories. It is difficult to select' the best from among the work of such writers as Mottram and Remarque, Herbert and Maurois, Conrad and Barbusse, but Mr. Gerald Bullet's tale with the queer ending and Mr. Somerset Maugham's story of the spy with the bull-terrier alone make the book worth its price. Mr. Edmund Blunden's introduction adds to the value of an immense volume which should be read gradually.