Books: Behind the Barbed Wire

NO TIME TO LOOK BACK (281 pp.)—Leslie Greener—Viking ($3).

In Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, Ivan Karamazov tells a fable of Christ's return to earth during the Spanish Inquisition. Unceremoniously thrown into jail, He is told by the Grand Inquisitor that men are not ready for the life of love and that meanwhile His presence can only hinder the business at hand. The saddened Christ takes his departure.

Dostoevsky's fable is the basis of No Time to Look Back, a tense, sincerely earnest and sometimes beautiful novel about British troops in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Written by a 50-year-old South African who was himself a...

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