Books: Down by the Rio Grande

THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY (387 pp.]—Tom Lea—Little, Brown ($3.75).

Tom Lea of El Paso is a good painter and a good writer. He loves his native Southwest, is steeped in its history and traditions. In his first novel, The Brave Bulls (TIME, April 25, 1949), he was an artist writing exactly and movingly about another art: bullfighting. He was also a surprisingly good novelist exploring the range of courage, despair and fear in the heart of a brave man.

In his new book, The Wonderful Country, Author Lea comes a cropper at that traditionally exacting hurdle, novel No. 2, Because The Wonderful Country is...

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