Books: Left-Wing Villain

GOING TO THE RIVER by Constantine Fitz Gibbon. 277 pages. Norton. $4.95.

As World War I approaches its demi-centenary, more and more British writers are exploring it as a true watershed in European history. Presented by Anglo-American Constantine Fitz Gibbon, the war not only killed millions in the trenches, it destroyed the survivors. The demanding civic faith and exacting private moral code of the Victorians were the unlisted casualties. The survivors who carried on were Eliot's "hollow men, headpiece filled with straw."

Figures in this novel of invisible corruption include Dr. Talbot, rector of "Gloucester" College, Oxford, who lends his prestige to...

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