Books: Modern Polonius

TIME OF HOPE (408 pp.); THE LIGHT AND THE DARK (406 pp.)—C. P. Snow—Scribner ($4.95).

C. P. Snow is devoted to the top-secret novel. His characters do not meet, they rendezvous. Even their platitudes are guarded. They discuss the time of day as if it were classified information. This conspiratorial mode apparently suits Charles Percy Snow, who seems to view life as a vast intrigue in which men endlessly scheme for everything, from women and wealth to positions of academic, bureaucratic and managerial power.

The Light and the Dark and Time of Hope are the...

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