Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 10, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, August LETHBRIDGE A collection of brief book reviews "Saturday Games" by Brown Meggs (Random, 178 An attractive lady is found murdered and while the police are investigating, four worried men are playing a game of tennis. They're worried because the previous night three of them were out with the victim experimenting with booze, drugs, group sex and rape. As tennis proceeds, we get a series of flashbacks as each player mulls over his involvement the deceased. A very ingenious story with a most surprising climax although a careful reader might guess the villain's identity. Recommended for crime story addicts. TERRY MORRIS "Movies Are Better Than Ever Now" by Andrew Dow- dy (George J. McLeod Ltd., 242 In 1946 the average weekly attendance at the movies was a staggering 90 million then came the 50s and TV. Movies had to fight for their audiences. They fought back with 3D (remember those funny glasses and the hours you spent ducking spears, arrows, hot wax. etc. that spilled out of the and cinemascope (which 'led one critic to comment about the first big screen movie. The Robe. "I think it's about a guy with 13 foot The moral code started to change and films like Blackboard Jungle crept in, but were banned in places like Alberta. Besides an interesting ex- amination of the movies, the author looks into the people, dwelling for some time on the blacklisted actors and writers of the McCarthy Communist hunt era. Good reading and good entertainment are incor- porated in these 242 pages. The ironic thing about the book is the fact that the night you stay home to read this tale of the moving picture business is the night you could have taken your wife out to a movie. GARRY ALLISON "The Good Times Songbook" (Singer's Edition) by James Leisy (G. R. Welch, 160 This book, with 160 songs for informal singing, is the best collection I've seen yet. It should appeal especially to young people and leaders of such groups as Scouts, Tuxis, CGIT, and summer campers. Steven Foster melodies are conspicuous by their absence, but all other American, Negro folk songs and spirituals are included, along with rounds, well loved hymns, carols, singing games. West Indian Calypso, and samples of folk music 1 rom Africa, Czechoslovakia, Australia. Israel, and the British Isles. This singei's edition contains only the melody and words, but anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of harmony could play suitable accompaniments as the chords are clearly marked. A real fun book for the young at heart. Accompanist's music book available at 95 MARY HEINITZ "My Young Years" by Arthur Rubinstein (Random House, 478 Arthur Rubinstein was blessed with unusual musical ability, a zest for enjoying life, and an uncanny memory. It's this remarkable memory that enabled him to look back on this long life and write an enthralling autobiography. Rubinstein lived well. He met famous people and tells some revealing stories about Paderewski, Chaliapin, Casals and Stravinsky to name but a few of his friends. He was a great traveller and wherever he was, London, Paris, New York, Warsaw or Berlin he always had some interesting experiences to store in his memory for the day when he would write a book. Even more important to Rubinstein than his musical triumphs, love affairs and friendships is his own special philosophy. For him the secret of happiness is, "Love life for better or for worse, without conditions" and it is this great love for living that bursts forth from every page of this excellent book. My Young Years, complete with index and illustrations, was on the best seller list for some weeks. Highly recommended. TERRY MORRIS "The Flame of the Borgias" by Jean Briggs (Collins, 336 Any book that carries the name Borgia, I snap up quick- ly because that particular historical period usually proves to be so exciting; but this book was a disap- pointment. The novel is factually based on letters written between Lucrezia Borgia and the main character, Pietro Bembo of Venice, during the years 1502- 1505. Beginning with the death of Lucrezia, the story is par- ticularly moving and suggests better things to come, but as it turns back to the dangerous years of the romance, then to the present again, its dryness makes it easy to put down. The book left the feeling of constant stops and starts, with a refueling at the highlights of romantic interest. One gets the impression that Jean Briggs has little imagination with which to carry interest through the long separations ol the two lovers. JOANNE GROVER "A Day No Pigs Would Die" by Robert Newton Peck (Dell, 139 A small paperback about a boy growing up on a Vermont farm with devout Shaker parents. Delightful reading. ELSPETH WALKER "Sovereign of the Seas" (Collins, 382 Here is some first-class reading for everyone interested in nautical history. David Howarth writes in a very easy-to-read style, gathering from a wide range of sources a history of British sea power. From the Irish monks and hermits who traversed the Atlantic even before the Vikings, to the warships of the Second World War, Howarth lucidly explains how Britain not only ruled the waves but had the foresight and wisdom to devise rules and customs granting freedom of the seas beyond coastal waters to all men. Howarth explains the British attitude well in this volume when he English, at the moment of dawning enterprise, did have the merit of addressing all men as equals. They avoided the worse hypocrisy of Spain, which made the spread of Christianity a cloak for con- quest, slaughter, robbery and enslavement. The early English explorers were neither conquerors nor preachers, they were simply traders, or the pathfinders of traders. And even when they turned to robbery, a genera- tion later, they made it a prac- tice only to rob the robbers." NOEL BUCHANAN "Keep Trying" by J. L. Marx (Fitzhenry Whiteside Limited, 196 Although the author was a victim of a crippling polio at- tack over 60 years ago and writes from bitter experience of his efforts to learn to walk again and to become a useful member of society, his circumstances were somewhat better than those of the average patient in that his parents were financially able to get the best specialists available to care for him through many operations from childhood to manhood. Better still, they were ideal- ly equipped mentally and emotionally to cope with the problem of rearing a han- dicapped son. They gave him an unusually sensible bringing-up and inspired him to triumph over his physical deficiencies. He did so, learn- ing not only to walk but even to drive a car and fly a plane. Marx believes the extent of a person's rehabilitation depends entirely on his motivation. If he really wants to rise above his infir- mities he can though it won't be easy. This book tells how the author made it. MARY HEINITZ THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. MOrley Discussing lunch Photo Rick Ervin Book reviews Annihilation of Newfoundland Indians narrated "Riverrun" by Peter Such (Clarke, Irwin, 145 It is impossible not to be reminded of William Golding's The Inheritors and perhaps even John Gardner's Grendel when reading Peter Such's second novel, Riverrun. Each of the three is interested in achieving much the same thing: reader iden- tification with characters whose ability to understand their experience is severely limited. And each of the novelists necessarily runs the same risk: of causing the reader to become as confused as the character about just what is actually going on. When this device works, it can be very effective. The simplicity of the character's responses to what he ex- periences can result in a very fresh and poetic style, and it can also provide the reader with provocative insights. Gardner's Grendel perceives Beowulf and his fello Danes, not as heroes, but as a bunch of frightened and suspicious little men, hiding behind their mead-hall doors and drinking themselves into forgetful stupor. This picture may be a blow to Anglo-Saxon pride, but it is certainly a new, and interesting, perspective. Peter Such's novel deals with the Beothuk Indians of Newfoundland, extinct since 1829, and the reader sees, in each of the three sections of the book, through the eyes and consciousness of one of the In- dian characters. The first part is narrated from the point of view of Nonosabasut, who in 1818 was the leader of this already ruined people. The se- cond section is given to Demasduit, the wife of Nonosabasut, and the third to Shawnadithit, niece of the first two and the last of this gentle and fiercely independent people to die. Each of the three sections ends with the death of its central character, so that the whole formal movement of the novel stresses the inces- sant annihilation of the Beothuks, always because of direct or indirect conflict with the white fishermen and furriers and their Micmac allies. Such succeeds in making the reader feel the basic gentleness, playfulness, and mounting heartache and suf- fering of the Beothuks, whose nomadic life-style renders them no match for the white newcomers. Nonosabasut is shot in the back as he attempts to prevent his wife's being captured by the whites. She, in turn, dies from the agony of her separation from her infant daughter and the rest of her people. And Shaw- nadithit. too, dies as much from heartache and loneliness as from anything else. Despite the simplicity of these characters, or perhaps because of it, the author causes us to identify with them, to mourn their passing and to lament the inevitability of it. Some of the whites try to understand and befriend these people, but the gulf between the two cultures is im- passable When the narrative is filtered through the sen- sibilities of the Indian characters. Such's style is very dynamic and evocative. The primitive point of view is heightened by the informality of the sentence patterns and by the frequent use of kenn- ing-like figures. But. besides giving us the Indians' perspective. Such has at times included passages from what purport to be of- ficial letters, reports, and an entry from a missionary's diary. These inclusions look at what is happening from the white man's point of view. They serve to establish that at least some of the whites were disturbed by what was happening to the Beothuks, and they give us a more objec- Novel examines Protestant theology "The Flight of Peter Fromm" by Martin Gardner (William Kaufmann Inc., 272 Could there be anything more unlikely than a Pentecostal youth electing to prepare for the ministry at the University of Chicago Divinity, School? Yes, the lasting at- tachment he made to a humanist professor and pastor of a suburban Unitarian church. Dr. Homer Wilson, the professor-pastor, tells this story of the odyssey of his student-friend, Peter Fromm. The fire of evangelical faith burned brightly at first in Peter. He attended the Moody Memorial Church and organiz- ed a Christian fellowship group on campus. But his fun- damentalism soon began to erode and he began to search for answers to nagging ques- tions. For a time he was sustained by the writings of G. K. Chesterton and flirted with Catholicism. Then Karl Barth seemed to offer hope. The whole gamut of modern theology was explored and in the end he gave up the idea of being a minister but not before he punched his prospective preacher father- in-law for evading the ques- tion of what he believed about the physical resurrection of Jesus and then went bonkers preaching the Easter sermon in Dr. Wilson's church. A more remarkable novel than this one would be hard to imagine. The book is struc- tured, beginning with the preface, in such a way that it is extremely difficult not to be -fooled into thinking it is a genuine memoir. Real people are constantly referred to and quoted. Fictional people and their writings are very plausible. Initialed footnotes by both Dr. Wilson and Martin Gardner bring an even greater aura of authenticity. The critique of recent Protestant theology in its ma- jor manifestations (and some minor ones) is so skillfully 'done that it is hard to believe that it is not the product of a Kathryn Kuhlman comes to town Just outside the Colosseum in Vancouver the Stampeders were playing the Lions, but within the Colosseum that evening excite- ment was far greater and the attendance at least twice as great to listen to Kathryn Kuhlman. Thousands had been waiting since early afternoon. Many had come hundreds of miles, some several thousand miles. The choir ot over 1200. recruited from Vancouver churches, had created an atmosphere of ex- pectancy. The audience was impatient as Miss Kuhlman was late, but the rumor cir- culated that she had been called to help a woman who had been taken gravely ill. Finally in came the famous lady, dressed in dazzling white from chin to toe, the breeze of the air conditioning catching her sleeves and the pleats of her dress so that it billowed and flowed as she pirouetted and glided about the platform in a sort of perpetual motion for three hours never once sitting or leaning. It was a remarkable feat for a woman whose age has been often guessed, but is probably 62 years. Always she kept the famous smile. Her face seemed to have an aura. Her speech is far more impressive than on television, though often she seems to be scolding her audience. "Is there some grouch A baby cries. "Give that baby to an A youth named "Dino." "the finest religious pianist in the world." played a few selections. Jimmy McDonald, "the world's finest religious sang "There were ninety and nine" and a couple of other pieces. Miss'Kuhlman gave an emotion packed ser- mon. "one of the world's most famous models." came to the platform from the audience and gave testimony to her conversion by Kathryn Kuhlman on a previous evangelistic visit to Vancouver. She joined a Vancouver church, had a happy- romance leading to her marriage, and a life of great happiness and peace. Then down the aisles came those who had been healed. Miss Kuhlman wanted only the healed to corne. Most had been arthritic suf- ferers. A Catholic priest from St. George had suffered deafness and was now healed. A vic- tim of Parkinson's Disease was full of glee. Soon the platform was full and the aisles full too of wheel chairs pushed down by former sufferers. Hecklers were efficiently led out by strong ushers. The many not cured quietly left for their homes. Repeatedly Kathryn Kuhlman said that she was not a faith healer. The miracles were all the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The 20.000 people tive picture of the Indians' appearance and emotional wretchedness. But I personally feel that these passages are intrusive and lose more than they gain for Such. At times, they result in a more ironic awareness of the irreconcilable natures of the Indians and the whites, but they also interrupt the poetic flow of the novel and they appear sometimes to be mere- ly attempts by the author to remind us that his story is in fact based on history. However, the power of Riverrun does not lie in its fidelity to history; it resides rather in Such s imaginative reconstruction of how it must have been for Nonosabasut, Demasduit. Shawnadithit. and the others. It lies in the sense of tragedy evoked by the story of these characters and this story should have been kept entirely theirs. WILLIAM LATTA professor of systematic theology. In fact, Martin Gardner is best known for the mathematical games featured in Scientific American maga- zine. For several years he was on the staff of Humpty Dump- ty (a magazine for five-year- olds) and he has written some books of literary criticism including The Annotated Alice. In my judgment, the story falters rather badly when it is conveyed through a series of letters Peter Fromm wrote to Dr. Wilson while in the navy during the Second World War. I also think the conclusion is anti-climatic and that Peter's taking to sex and drink without evidence of guilt feelings is implausible con- sidering his background. But despite these criticisms it is a piece of writing of genuine significance which will further enhance the reputa- tion of Martin Gardner and put the new publishing firm of William Kaufmann on the map. DOUG WALKER waved their arms, shouted hallelujahs, and many wept. At the end of the service thousands thronged about the platform with uplifted hands. In the corridors were many of the unhealed who had come with such expectation. It was unspeakably sad. Were the healings real'.' Kathryn Kuhlman maintains that the closest relationship is kept with doctors and that every cure is carefully checked. She also re- jects most emphatically any suggestion that she is a psychic healer. Possibly this is because of the psychic research done by Allen Spraggett. one time religion editor for the Toronto Daily Star who linked Miss Kuhlman's healings to parapsychology and described her as "one of the most extraor- dinary Christian mystics and clairvoyants of our time." One of the most startling features of her service is that, when she places her hands on a person's shoulder, near their neck, they collapse either rigidly backward, or in a heap. This is said, however, to be a feature of most Pentecostal services. She is a member of the Baptist church, but was ordained by the Evangelical Church Alliance. Another feature of her services is her scorn for education, especially theological education. She is said not to have got past her sophomore year in high school. She thanks God she never studied theology. She forgets that Paul was one of the greatest scholars and theological thinkers of his time and without Paul there would be no Christian Church. It is hard to doubt that there are miracles of healing when one reads such people as Alexis Carrel and Agnes Sanford. two entirely different types of personality. Also to dismiss the healings as those of psychosomatic il- lnesses is to fail to recognize that most doc- tors assert that practically all illnesses have a psychosomatic content. Dr. Flanders Dun- bar performed a remarkable pioneering work in this field. Patterns of emotional disorder underly most if not all illnesses and accidents too. Dr. Dunbar tells of a woman with an ex- othalmic goiter who was to be operated on by a surgeon. He was unhappy with her state of tension and sent her to a psychiatrist. Six months later she returned to him having lost both her anxieties and her goiter! The advice of Agnes Sanford seems most wise. "One should have the best doctor and nurse possi- ble when someone is sick, and then pray with depth, wisdom, and sincerity." SATURDAY TALK By Harry Bruce A shattered dream HALIFAX, N.S. Most people harbor thoughts about a lost career, the one you waited too long to pursue but know, in your heart of hearts, would surely have made you blissful, free, and excellent. I wanted to spend my life in the national parks, for in- stance. I saw a job in the parks as a year-round, paid vacation, with deep spiritual benefits thrown in as a bonus. I'd be Grey Owl with tenure. In this other career of mine, the wind sighs in the pines, the icy pure rivers rattle down to the sea and tiny flowers, like stars on the forest floor, glitter where'ere I trod. Alas all I have to do is watch the birdies, count the little beasties. blaze trails, paddle my canoe, and quietly master the arts of wilderness survival. No boss. No red tape. No office back-stabbing. No mean people. So you can imagine my interest in meeting a man who really has worked in the parks for even longer then I've merely dreamed about it. Here was the very fellow I might have become myself. The trouble was, he didn't talk about the wind in the pines at all. He wanted to talk about people. They are the strangest creatures in the parks. Once, he said, he and his wife were walking in a high, remote corner of a western park and suddenly they heard the hysterical weeping of a baby. In that place, the noise was astounding. The baby was in a field, in a basket, utterly alone. The country was rich in grizzly bears, and the parents had driven to town for a few beers. Another time, my friend found a baby alone in a tent but. in that case, the parents never did return. People. They abandon dogs and cats in the parks, too, and they steal a lot of food from one another. Nothing is easier to do than wait for some jolly family to drive off for the afternoon and then whip over to their campsite and snatch all their steaks, cucumbers and cookies. Park officiate, in midsummer, field a lot of complaints from the enraged victims of fellow campers who happen to be thieves. Some campers go so far as to demand that the park repay them for food and equipment that playful bears have destroyed. Then there's the matter of noise. Overnight campgrounds, on hot summer nights, often offer about as much protection from human din as a New York tenement and you can never be sure that some aging husband and wife, in search of supreme peace near shining waters, will not find themselves bedded down beside a gaggle of beer-drinking teenagers, complete with guitars, transistor radios, furious horseplay and raucous lust to see the dawn. At one park recently, a well-heeled traveller in a lavish, crammy. bungalow-on- wheels, insisted on shattering the mystery and calm of a summer night by running his gas-driven electricity-generator. Maybe he wanted to power his automatic dishwasher or his color television but, in any event, some phantom of the pup tents, some stealthy nature-lover sabotaged the generator with a cup of sugar. "I think that fellow with the generator would have killed the guy who did that." the parks official said, "if only he could have found him. He was that mad." Many seekers of silence expect parks of- ficials to have the noise dampening authority of the house dick in a big hotel and, when it comes to settling a dispute over rights to a picnic table, the authority, wisdom, and im- partiality of a Supreme Court judge. "But that's nothing." The parks man says. "Do you know about our coin-operated You see. this particular park has showers, into which your eager and sweaty camper inserts a quarter to get a specified number of minutes of soothing, hot ablution. But the showers are about as honest as a circus barker. Sometimes all the camper gets is a cold shower. Sometimes, the thing cuts out on him the moment he's lathered his en- tire body with soap. Sometimes he takes off all his clothes, inserts his quarters, turns the taps, and gets exactly nothing. You know how you feel when a pay telephone steals your dime. Well, multiply that by about 100 and you will begin to unders- tand the abuse those showers sometimes bring down on the heads of parks officers. Not only that, the government in its zeal to protect the taxpayers' interest insists that two parks employees must always be present during the collection of quarters from the campers. Do I ever envy them when some corrupt public servant will succumb to the urge to snitch a quarter. In repair bills and salaries (not to mention ill the pay shower fiasco costs more then it reaps. And maybe you're wondering something. Why not raise the park entrance fee and give everyone free showers? Smart guy. eh? Well, that's exactly the sort of suggestion parks people in the field make to their superiors in Ottawa. Nothing much happens. The bureaucracy, you know. "It's been a good life in the my friend tells me, "but you know something, I've always thought it must be great to be a freelance writer. How do you get into that line of work, (Toronto Star Syndicate) Reason for disappointment By Doug Walker George and Eveline Goodwin of Calgary spent a weekend with us this summer. One morning at breakfast Goody took a bit of cereal from each of four boxes that were on the table. "I took a little from each box so you wouldn't be Goody said to Elspeth. "Considering the cost of Eveline said, "Elspeth wouldn't be disappointed if you didn't eat anything."