Books: Agony at Arnhem

THE CAULDRON by Zeno. 278 pages. Stein & Day. $5.95.

Books by convicts always have a certain curiosity value, if not a literary one. But this first novel by a British prisoner serving a life sentence for murder rises above its origins. The publishers will say nothing about the author, who uses the pen name Zeno (borrowed from the founder of Stoic philosophy), except that at various times he was a sailor, a soldier, a farmer and a timber merchant. More to the point, he was a World War II parachutist with the British 1st Airborne Division, which was trapped and methodically...

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