the yarn is home-spun, the horizon is narrow. Many of the quotations could have been dispensed with and it almost hurts to have to read so much English in a Welsh work about a Welsh nationalist. It is to be hoped that T. I. Ellis will not keep us waiting long for the second volume for in it we shall eagerly look for some light to be shed on the political enigma of Tom Ellis. Ithel DAVIES. "THE GREEN ISLE OF THE GREAT DEEP." By NEIL M. Gunn. Faber and Faber, 8/6d. Before all else, this is a good story. Now-a-days one has to believe in an author's characters, otherwise whatever he has to say falls flat, and most readers put down the book with the complaint that-" it has nothing to do with reality." Allegory, parody, and even symbolism in prose are out of fashion, and the old myths have lost their fascination for many readers. But if, in spite of (if not because of) the allegorical and symbolical flavour which pervades this book, no seeming artificialities nor creaking mechanisms of the plot dam up the flow of the story, then no one can complain, but must admire the ease with which Mr. Gunn deals with this most difficult medium of expression. Hector and Art are truly persons there is no question of believing in them or not, they are there, and we must follow them. Taken at face value, the story is simple. While God sleeps in the Green Isle, His administrators have seen fit to forbid the eating of fruit, and the inhabitants of the Isle, when Hector and Art come among them, eat the processed fruit prepared for them, and not of the fruits of the tree of life So that man would be restored to his original innocence, so that he would be without blemish, so that he would be the perfect worker, so that he would do all things that he was told to do, so that perpetual order would reign everywhere," explains Robert bitterly to Hector. But this man Robert, and his wife Mary have not obeyed the veto on the fruit, they have eaten thereof, and so have Hector and Art. (There would seem to be some confusion here between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge, but as this is not exactly the Garden of Eden, and most definitely, it is not Yaw who sleeps in the Green Isle, the distortion is pardonable.) The trouble starts with Art running away, and old Hector is left to bear the terrible inquisition of the Questioner. To Hector, the most terrible thing that could happen is that the Questioner should break down his mind, and so that this might not happen, old Hector goes to the extreme measure of asking to see God. Taken in this way, the story is simple enough, but like all stories of its kind, there is more to it than meets the eye. And this is where Mr. Gunn falls short of his objective. If you are going to use myths (and, to a certain extent, contort them) in order to heighten the imaginative concept of your work, if you admit of allegory and symbolism in the structure of your story, you must have a sharp, clear motif" that overrides the cunning disorganisation that myth and dream provide. And in The Green Isle of the Great Deep the motif" itself becomes disorganised, blurred, and sentimentalised. It should be possible to read such a story as this on two levels first, the face value level, second, the underlying level where the dream- like world becomes true in that its juxtaposition with the real is not forced but leads to an even deeper understanding of the whole. The former, Mr. Gunn has succeeded in remarkably well, but in the latter he has failed. The mirror which he holds up to life is too distorted it is hardly possible to see anything of the shapes and shadows by which we have come to recognise our world. For in our world God never does wake up here the balance which must be kept is lost, the balance between what we know and that which happens in the Green Isle. Superficially, this does not matter, but deeper down the structure cracks. But Mr. Gunn is no ordinary person to have attempted such a task, and everyone who reads his book will enjoy worrying at as well as reading The Green Isle of the Great Deep." CELIA BUCKMASTER.