Books: The Need for Risks

THIS HAPPY RURAL SEAT (270 pp )—George Lanning—World ($3.50).

Fifty years ago, Henry James wrote The Beast in the Jungle, a masterful short novel about an aging man who discovers too late, that life has slipped by him. This week 27-year-old George Lanning publishes This Happy Rural Seat, a brilliant first novel in which he spins some subtle variations on the Jamesian theme of the unlived life. A onetime staff member of the highbrow Kenyan Review, Lanning shows a gift for creating complex human beings that marks him as one of the ablest new novelists in some time.

Lanning's hero, Herbert Komar, is...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!