25 SEPTEMBER 1926, Page 33

ONE, TWO, THREE. By Paul Selver. (Jarrolds. 7s. (Id. net.)—Impossible

to gauge what can have been in the mind of Mr. Selver when he decided to write this book : impossible

to decide whether- it is a far-fetched joke or an attempt to Fntonish the bourgeois ! If One, Two, Three is the latter, it will rdly succeed. The.hook concerns an English dramatist who, the intervals of peculiarly tiresome love-affairs, writes a play which is presented to the public as the work of a newly discovered peasant author from the interior regions of Europe. It is, of course, a success. While this may be intended to satirize the public's delight in Mr. Karel Capek's play, " R.U.R.," which it will be recalled Mr. Selver himself trans- lated into English, it cannot fairly be said to do so. One, Two, Three is not satire, but buffoonery. And as most of the admirers of Mr. Capek will undoubtedly have forgotten, if they ever knew, that Mr. Selver was his translator, the point of the rather clumsy joke must certainly be lost on them. Regarded more simply as a -novel, One, Two, Three is almost purely irritating.