Books: The Last Colonial

THE OLD ORDER AND THE NEW by Wilfred Fowler. 294 pages. Macmillan. $5.

This is a remarkably likable novel about the last days of British rule in Africa. Novelist Fowler's main character is a British civil servant named Wood, and the book consists of two sets of his recollections—those from the beginning of his colonial career in the 1930s, and a sharply contrasting sheaf of observations made 30 years later as the colony in which he is stationed clamors for independence.

The narrative is a series of leisurely episodes, unconnected except by Wood's part in them. In the book's first section, when the...

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