Books: Wrong Assignment

THE DIPLOMAT (631 pp.)—James Al-drldge—Little, Brown ($3.75).

By the time he was 24, Australian-born James Aldridge had written about World War II from seven fronts, picked up three wounds and was a big-name correspondent. He had also written a novel, Signed with Their Honor (TIME, Oct. 5, 1942), which was clumsy fiction and embarrassingly indebted to Hemingway, but good reporting about war in the air. His second novel, The Sea Eagle, made it plain that not even the most studious aping of Hemingway was enough to make a novelist out of a newspaperman. With The Diplomat, it should by now be obvious...

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