Books: The Last Gardener

A HOUSE IN ORDER by Nigel Dennis. 188 pages. Vanguard. $4.95.

Gardening is regarded as the province of nice ladies and retired gentlemen, but it is well to remember that it is also a primal human activity. In a parable of human anguish raised to an existential level, Nigel Dennis pursues Voltaire's suggestion that man should look to his own garden, and shows in a nightmare vision what it would be like to be the last gardener—one man alone, devoted to growing things in a mechanized military world.

To do so, he peels his hero down to man's quintessential being. The Dennis hero...

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