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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 159

For obvious reasons, British writers are tops when it comes to describing disintegrating empires. To do the job properly, especially in fiction, there is needed a sense of irony, a sense of loss and a sense of relief…. [In At Fever Pitch, young novelist] David Caute mixes these qualities with the authority derived from his background…. (p. 92)

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At Fever Pitch is more than the substance behind the headlines. In spite of a good deal of boyishness (Author Caute seems to think that repetition is a literary virtue), an atmosphere of urgent truth plays over the book. Hopelessness is as pervasive as the debilitating climate. And black victory is as depressing in its consequences as white defeat. Certainly the British army has seldom looked so drearily ineffective, and black Africans have seldom been decked out in such deliberate cynicism. (p. 94)

"Black Mischief," in Time (copyright 1961 Time Inc.; all rights reserved; reprinted by permission from Time), Vol. LXXVII, No. 23, June 2, 1961, pp. 92, 94.

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The Times Literary Supplement


Roger Gellert

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