Books: Problem Piece

THE JUDGE'S STORY (184 pp.)—Charles Morgan—Macmillan ($3).

Most of Charles Morgan's novels (The Fountain, Sparkenbroke, The Voyage) start out with a fair wind but eventually become becalmed on a sea of pretentious ideas. In The Judge's Story, Morgan shunts his characters around to illustrate a problem which is too big for them, and too big for his novel: ". . . The problem . . . of how, in the modern world, to remain civilized and free."

The story is a modern contest between good & evil, with Morgan acting as a kind of celestial scorekeeper. The chief character is a retired...

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