The Times Literary Supplement

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 186

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[At Fever Pitch is an] ambitious book, and ranges over a vast field of subjects with a vast number of characters…. But the organization of the book suffers as a result. Also [Mr. Caute] is forced to use a very wide range of different techniques—impressionism, interior monologue, poetic evocation, stream of consciousness, we get the lot. At the same time in Glyn, his central character, Mr. Caute has given us a masterly study of a sensitive young National Service officer doing an utterly alien job in an utterly alien job in an utterly alien atmosphere surrounded by utterly alien colleagues, while at the same time troubled by personal and ambivalent sexual troubles. And the author's insight into the minds of his African characters … is positively uncanny. At Fever Pitch is a sometimes over-heated book—surely no one unit of the Army could ever have contained so many drunks and snobs and fifth-rate riffraff?—but it is a big book in every sense.

"Shades of Meaning," in The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1959; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission), No. 2972, February 13, 1959, p. 81.∗


Simon Raven


V. S. Naipaul