Books: Up from Poverty

EXCEPT THE LORD (276 pp.)—Joyce Cary—Harper ($3.50).

One test of a good fictional character is whether he leads a double life in 1) the writer's imagination, 2) the reader's memory. Joyce Gary, who has created some of the most memorable characters in 20th century fiction, has frequently passed this test with lovable scamps, e.g., Gulley Jimson (The Horse's Mouth), Sara Monday (Herself Surprised). Chester Nimmo, who made his debut in Gary's last novel, Prisoner of Grace (TIME, Oct. 20, 1952), is no scamp but a fireballing politico who marries into money, gets elected to...

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