Books: Red Monte Cristo

THE WORLD Is MINE—William Blake—Simon & Schuster ($3).

This 741-page historical melodrama about "a modern Monte Cristo" is an unusual tale. Most extraordinary thing about it is its echoes of Christina Stead's month-and-a-half-old House of All Nations (TIME, June 13). Both novels run to about the same length, both have the same satirical, tight-nerved, epigrammatic slant on their backgrounds of international high finance, war and revolution. The World Is Mine, with a more extravagant range, livelier plot, less diffuseness, is better than Author Stead's brilliant book.

Curious parallels show in the two authors' backgrounds as well. Son of a Midwest surgeon, pseudonymous William...

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