Charles Rolo

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 157

[Martha Gellhorn's His Own Man,] an elegant entertainment which is also a morality tale, is felicitously conceived and executed with wit, gaiety, toughness of mind, and perfect control. The story is a topical variation on the theme of the American abroad. Its hero—or, rather, antihero [Ben]—belongs to a new class which is the contemporary counterpart of the intellectuals of an earlier era who lived abroad on small private incomes. (p. 101)

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Ben is a thoroughly convincing, if unusual, amalgam of pride, irresponsibility, and the Puritan conscience, and Miss Gellhorn shows with finesse and humor how such a man gradually, reluctantly makes compromises with his precious principles and drifts into corruption. The other characters are impeccably drawn, and there is a rich fund of high comedy. The book is a delight. (p. 102)

Charles Rolo, "La Dolce Vita," in The Atlantic Monthly (copyright © 1961 by The Atlantic Monthly Company, Boston, Mass.; reprinted with permission), Vol. 208, No. 3, September, 1961, pp. 101-02.

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