Books: Private Lives Down Under

THE DESERT IN THE HEART (249 pp.)—Peter Gladwin—Rinehart ($3).

In this first novel, an Australian newspaperman living and working in London hammers home an old truth: people can't help being what they are and suffering the consequences. What keeps Author Peter Gladwin from seeming merely to ring changes on an old cliche is a combination of life and modesty in his writing. The Desert in the Heart does not try for much; it achieves sympathy for its people through the simple device of dealing with them sympathetically.

In the dreary coal-mining town of Gerindery, Australia,...

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