1 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 32

THE LION TOOK FRIGHT. By Louis Marlow. (Mun- danus. 3s.)—Mr.

Marlow's latest book gives him good oppor- tunity for showing off his peculiar technique. He writes obliquely and in such a series of hints and whispers that, as we read, we forget the novel as a novel, and feel that the author )s putting ideas into our heads about a man whom we might otherwise have accepted at his face value. This man is Mr. Brang- don, the Lion, who is a charming person to meet, wistful and so misunderstood that he is in need of perpetual consolation. He finds two confidantes, who are sisters : one is sophisticated and the other is innocent. Bmngdon enjoys being frank and free with the one and chivalrous with the other : he is a practised philanderer and self-deceiver. Mr. Marlow shows us Brangdon as he appears to others, as he appears to himself and as he really is. It is this last aspect that is so cleverly arranged, for though the author directs our gaze, he never comments and allows us the joy of finding out for ourselves exactly what he means us to find out. The lion roars lustily, yet never so loudly as to drown the sound of his spiritual whiniperings, and takes fright finally at the effect of his love- making on innocency. A sudden climax adds weight to a book which is far more interesting as an experiment than as a story, which is seldom pleasant, but always clever. The book may not, by reason of its very subtle qualities, have a wide appeal, but none who read it will accuse Messrs. Gollancz, who are responsible for Mundanus, Ltd., of having produced a cheap book in a cheap form. We shall be interested to see if its successors follow the high standard set by Mr. Marlow.