Books: Kingdom of Engines

HELIX (242 pp.)—David Loughlin—Harper ($2.50).

David Loughlin is a thoughtful young

(26) Texas-born marine engineer, who

served aboard freighters and troopships

during the war. Helix, his first novel,

has color, imagination and technical savvy,

plus a grandiose, elusive, Moby Dick-like

theme. Author Loughlin boldly chases

his whale (Man v. the Machine) across

the Atlantic in this story of the rusty

Cape Harting, a Maritime Commission-built C-1 freighter bound for West Africa in 1942.

The Cape Harting, with crated P-40s on her deck and a bellyfull of barreled aviation fuel, snaked through the Sandy Hook minefields one May morning. Rusty or not, she was good for 15 knots in a pinch, and sailed...

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