Books: Colonial Ritual

THE THORN TREES by John McIntosh. 183 pages. Harcourt, Brace & World. $4.50.

This novel by a Rhodesian schoolteacher and ex-newspaperman demonstrates with a special horror how white civilization can fail in the face of the white man's degeneracy and corruption. The bush, the prickly pear and the thorn trees are creeping back over the paddocks of Sherwood Ranch, a once-prosperous farm in African "territory" on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. It is presumably in Bechuanaland, being also north of Kipling's "great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River," and whatever its political future, a colonist would probably do better on the moon.

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