Summer 1964 • Vol. XXVI No. 3 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1964 |

Without a Peer

The Modern Novel in Britain and the United States by Walter Allen. E. P. Dutton and Company. $5.95. To evaluate properly a book such as this one by Walter Allen would be the next most difficult thing to writing it. Both the title and the distinguished reputation of the author lead one to expect a great deal more than is reasonable. One hopes for full and vivid accounts of all the novels worth our while, and for a severe sense of proportion. Some panorama is inevitable, of course, though it should not obscure the highlighting of those individual talents who ought to stand out, nor should excellent "minor" writers be forgotten. One expects such a book to be written with humble tentativeness, since no one can be presumed to know all the hundreds of thousands of novels published before 1955, Mr. Allen's stopping point. Still, one wants forthright statements and an avoidance of shyness in either style or judgment. It seems, remembering the differing and intelligent tastes all of us ha

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