2 JANUARY 1932, Page 32

New Novels

DARK BRIDWELL. By Vardis Fisher. (Gollanez.

6d.)—We have here the sort of hook that is the despair of a reviewer, because it makes him turn out from his mind's store such stale words as crude, virile, passionate, magnificent, brutal and tender : yet he cannot avoid them, for the novel * all these things, and so is its chief character, Charley Bridwell, who brought his young wife and three children to live in a deserted bottoirdand by the Snake River in Idaho. There they remained for a score of years, " moun-. tain-walled," with never more than a rattle-snake trail leading to their doorstep. During these years more children were born • the elder ones grew up in increasing savagery and learned to loathe their father. Whether the author is describing beauty or beastliness, and there is much of both, the quality of the prose is magnificent : there is never a jarring word or a false sentiment. But the most astonishing thing in it is the development of the younger boy's character and the delineation of the father's. It should be read by all who can stand such strong meat, for Charley Bridwell; with his laziness, brutality, phil,sophy, romanticism and geniality, is one of the most notable beings who have, in our day at any rate, been born of pen and ink.