Books: A Sick Novel

THUS AM I SLAYN (255 pp.)—Howard Clewes—Dutton ($3).

Here is a novel that is all skill and brilliance on the outside—English Novelist Clewes knows his way around words—but morally sick at the core. As such, it seems symptomatic of much current writing.

Author Clewes sets his scene in an unnamed central European country during the war. A scraggly group of eleven partisans lives quietly in an abandoned village, half an hour's walk from the town where a force of middle-aged German soldiers is stationed. No longer believing in anything except that mere existence is more important than any cause, the demoralized partisans have...

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