Books: Wild Easterns

Battling against the oily tides of history, the publishing industry has decided to exploit the Arabs. A certain amount of pluck is necessary. By next year, who knows? Arab interests may have bought into the American omni-corps that own so many publishing houses these days.

Eric Ambler has been charting the Middle East menace for years, sketching shabby cityscapes on the backs of greasy menu cards. The torpid and unheroic heroes of Ambler's books, however, scuttle wretchedly about, energized by greed and knowledge that their visas have expired. If repressive authority enters, it is...

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