27 FEBRUARY 1904, Page 24

The Money God. By J. P. Blake. (W. Heinemann. 6s.)—The

title of this book and the picture on the cover of the City (in a singularly empty condition of traffic) prepare the intelligent reader for a financial atmosphere. Dr. Johnson showed himself very much mistaken in his estimate of human nature when he said : "Babies do not wish to read about other babies," and we may therefore suppose that people who live in an office like reading about office life. For the mere reviewer, to whom the desk and the high stool are things unknown, the sub- ject also possesses a good deal of fascination; but it must be con- fessed that Mr. Blake does not contrive to make it as interesting as some other authors. The first City novel, "George Geith," which, oddly enough, was written by a woman, certainly helped to create a demand for this type of story. It is curious, however, to notice how the most modern examples of this school tend more and more to the description of financial operations on a large scale. Macaula.y's New Zealander, if he studies the "City" fiction of the day, will be able to tell from its pages that this is an era of Trusts and Combines, and will also gather that there are very few half-way houses between the clerk's desk at from .82 to .85 a week, and a position of vast wealth and correspondingly vast responsibilities. The Money God duly introduces its colossal financial project, and we leave its hero in the full enjoyment of the prospect of the large fortune which is to be the reward of his enterprise.