Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 29, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, July 29, 1972 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 Hook reviews Brief comments on a variety of books "Eat the Weeds" Iiy Ben Charles Harris, Hangman, Canada, 211! jyEIGHBORS have probably been wondering what I'm doing when they see me wan- dering the back lanes with a paper sack, picking weeds. As a matter of fact I'm gathering lambs quarters, a delectable weed which to my mind is tastier than spinach. But alas it's the only weed I know for sure is edible, while the author of this book lists hundreds. He states with authority that there are few weeds or wild fruit that man cannot eat and enjoy. In this book he gives recipes for wild berries and weeds, but unfortunately he doesn't accompany the text with pictures or sketches of the plants. This would be a help for novices who could perhaps eat the wrong thing and end up ill. MARGARET LUCKHURST "The Ewtags" by John O'Hara (Random House of Canada, 311 dust jacket of this book claims that John O'Hara has given to the characters of his n o v e 1 "a sense of reality" akin to that given to the char- acters in all his other books. I haven't read much of O'Hara but if the people and times in this one are in any way "real" I'm not sure what "phony" characters might be like. It Is a story of the Am- erican middle west during the First World War. The de- scription of the people and their interests and activities tell me more of the shallowness of the author than they do of the people he's purporting to describe. I was disappointed. ELSPETH WALKER, "The ABC of Japanese Gar- dening" by Isamu Kasldkie (Longman Canada Limited, 63 pages, 'T'HIS IS AN inexpensive 1 paperback for those who are planning a Japanese garden that will blend with a Western house. The book gives hints on how to regulate light and shade, control wind and drainage, prune, dig and transplant and many valuable ideas for the combining and use of stones. There are many attractive models of fences, plans for a roof garden, terrace and dif- ferent tree arrangements. This book certainly has many ideas for the creation of surroundings that make life happier. GERTA PATSON. "Contraception" by Lionel Gendron M.D. (Harvest House Ltd., paperback, 154 TPHE various methods of con- traception in use today are described. The majority of them are ruled out as un- reliable orunsatisfac tory. Strong partiality is expressed for the pill Dr. Gendron is a practicing obstetrician and au- thor of 16 books. DOUG WALKER. "I can keep a secret" by Margaret Howell (Longman Canada Ltd., ANOTHER little red hen story. This one doesn't bake bread she's unhappy because she has no babies, so she goes on strike and refuses to lay another egg. Beautifully illustrated. It is the "over and over" type of book that par- ents read every night. MARGARET LUCKHURST "A Horse For Running Buf- falo" by Madeline A. Free- man. (Van Norslrand Rein- hold Ltd. 88 rpHIS is a youth book cen- tred around a young Blackfoot Indian boy and his quest for the return of his prized pony stolen in a raid. Despite the fact that the book is youth oriented, the art work, done by Allan Daniel, makes it worth the adult reader's while, to investigate. Not often does one find such art and vivid col- oring in a book of this nature. It's interesting to note, how- ever, that one has to scour the book before one finds Daniel's name hidden away in the fine print, crediting him with tho superb sketches. GARRY ALLISON "TV Clock Winder" hy Anne Tyler (Alfred A. Knopf, 311 pages, distributed Iiy llamlom House of Canada ANNE TYLER was only 22 in when her first book, If Morning Ever Comes, was published. It was n very good novel and eel for Miss Tyler a standard of excellence that could have been difficult to achieve again. However, her succeeding books The Tin Can Tree (1965) and A Slipping- Down Life (1970) were well- written too. Now she has created her fourth story and it seems to measure up as well. This novel deals with a rath- er eccentric family which in some ways reminds me of J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey and the rest of the Glass fam- ily. The Emmerson family, however, has none of the in- tellectualism which seems to make eccentricity acceptable and their problems, therefore, seem more pathetic. A 20-year old girl, Elizabeth Abbott, lands on the Emmerson doorstep and in a cool and off-beat fashion becomes their angel of mercy. Those who enjoy watching a story develop will find this one absorbing; those who thrive on probing the whys and where- fores of interactions between characters will find some op- portunities for exercise too. I think Anne Tyler is a sensitive writer and I enjoyed reading The Clock Winder. ELSPETH WALKER Foothills in bloom by Phil Faulds BEAUVAIS LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK Candid, but not cruel, biography "The Story of Hendrik WIN lem Van Loon by Gerard Willem Van Loon (J. B. Lip- piiicott Company, 399 pages, distributed by McClel- land and Stewart rpHROUGH the twenties, thir- ties and early forties, Hen- drick Willem Van Loon was a literary luminary but now near- ly thirty years after his death his writings are neglected. It required the presence of the voluminous, vain and voluble man to make them popular. Candidly, but not cruelly, the son who writes this biography admits that Hendrik was an ov- erwhelmingly egotistical man. That note keeps recurring: "the one subject which never ceased to fascinate him: him- "his ponderous belly was the personification of his ego and he pampered it according- "his ego would not permit him to yield centre and so on. There was something obvious- ly appealing about Hendrik de- spite his self centredness, but the appeal palled under prolong- ed and intimate expos u r e. Fnendships could last but not marriages "a sustained sen- sitivity toward another per- son's emotional needs implicit in the term 'to love' had hardly been in his repertay." His first wife, who bore him his two sons, divorced him after a few years. He married again but this time he did the divorcing and then entered a third mar- riage that didn't take at all. After this he resumed a com- mon-law relationship with the second woman for the rest of his life. But there were lots of infatuations and affairs to re- lieve that strange liaison. Hen- drik "disbursed marriage pro- posals as freely and almost as frequently as dinner invita- tions." For a low-geared person such as myself the chaotic existence of Hcndrick, even at a distance, makes for weariness. On the spur of the moment he would book passage to Europe or to America if he happened to be in Europe. People were rounded up in droves for dinner. Houses were bought and sold with aban- don. And there were those ex- hausting to think about any- entanglements. Everything in Hendrik's life was done in a big way. When lie was depressed the blackness around him was engulfing. On the other hand, and this seems to have been most of the time, when he was feeling good his productivity was prodigious. Ho not only chutned out books, he communicated with all torts of people by letters, tele- grams, cablegrams and t e 1 e- phone calls. During a period of time when he lived in a village in Holland the postmaster who had to handle all this output was forced to get an assistant. The account of the inundation of that post office is just de- lightful. Loving to be in the limelight may even have prompted this outflow of missives to others but the egotism that may have been there could be overlooked in the pleasure given. Who could dislike a man who, on Christmas Eve, bounced through the streets of a town he was living in to deposit a bottle of wine and an envelope con- taining a crisp banknote at every door? Hendrik Willem Van Loon undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the memories of all who encountered him in life. Gerard Willem Van Loon has immortalized him for those who can only know him through the pages of a book. It was a deli- cate and difficult undertaking for the son to write about his father and he has done it ex- ceedingly well with an objec- tivity that is quite remarkable and in a style that is very admirable. I have read books about more significant people but few that are more inter- esting or better crafted. DOUG WALKER Blood-filled story "First Blood" by David Morrell (McClelland and Stewart 252 rpHE best summation of this book can be found in the old cuche, "You can't put it down until you're finished. It is an exciting, action-filled description of two war heroes, one from the Korean war and the other from the Vietnam conflict, and their head-to-head confrontation. A violent, bloody book it has more blood in it than the Red Cross blood bank it is full of fast-paced action which never subsides. There are a few points in the book when the Canadian-born Morrell gets a little carried away with his reign of terror, but on the whole it's quite ac- ceptable. Rambo, the trained Vietnam killer, could stop a man dead as a matter of instinct. His in- stincts burst to the surface when he and police chief Tea- sel meet. It starts out innocent- ly, but it soon grows and fes- ters out of control. If you get queezy at descrip- tions of slit throats and bullet splattered bodies, or eating live snakes or crawling through knee-deep bat excretion, leave tlus book alone. But if you like a little gore with your excite- ment don't miss this one just don't read it before supper that's all. GARRY ALLISON "Fieldings Super Economy Europe '72" (George J. Mo Lcod, Ltd., S3.75, 6G7 Fieldings, Nancy and Temple, are the magic carpet tourists of America. For more than two decades they've done the world's tourists dirty work for them travelling the globe first class, tourist class, hitchhiking testing facilities, rating night clubs, restaurants, hotels, hostels, tho whole bit. Then they sift through their conclusions and write guide books which proved to be in- valuable to literally millions of tyro travellers. The massive super-economy Is hefty because it leaves noth- ing out everything you should know about travelling In Europe this year is in this lat- est guide and it will prob- ably be almost as accurate next year. MARGARET LUCKHURST "Good News About the Earth" by Lucille Clifton, (Random House, 45 QOOD News About the Earth is a collection of short poems by a Negro woman in the United States. Primarily covering black life in the g h e 11 o, topics also in- clude p e o p 1 e she has known, and a section titled "some Je- sus." The book is not something that can be read with enjoy- ment; there are too many strong and often bitter feelings expressed. The book would be of most in- terest to someone who is aware of the racial problems in the southern states, but there are occasionally flashes of human insight valuable to anyone. The poems, more than any- thing, provide the reader with a surprisingly extensive picture of an interesting woman. MARLENE COOKSHAW "Muslde of Maine" by Dav- id Kevin. (Random House of Canada. 240 pages, ]UTUSIOE of Maine gives a deep-going analysis of a man who is retiring in nature, but who at the time of writing was seeking the highest office in his country. Muskie is pictured as an in- tensively lonely man, one who has worked hard for achieve- ment without illusions. He finds in politics the comfort and meaning of his life, but as a purist he is disillusioned at last, as many Americans are, with the American Dream. The book was written when Muskie was at the forefront of his party, and in it Muskie is pictured as a likely winner. JOE MA "Let's Go: the student guide to the United Slates and Canada" edited by Mopsy Strange Kennedy and Steven D. Stark (E. P. Dutton and Co., paperback, 704 pages, distributed by Clarke, Irwin and Company TT IS inconceivable that any young person contempla- ting doing some travelling any- where in the U.S. and Canada would henceforth be without a copy of this book. Information on places and ways to get to them seems fairly complete ex- cept for Canada which is, as usual, short changed. The places recommended for food and accommodation would ap- pall the comfortably fixed con- ventional types but for young people without much money they fill the bill. Comments on cities and their attractions are often candid and rather amus- ing. DOUG WALKER Arctic adventure "Night of the White Bear'" by Alexander Knox millan of Canada, 256 pERHAPS more widely known for his acting, Alexander Knox weaves a grim tale of Arctic life and high ad- venture in this, his first novel since 1933. You sense the pres- ence of the bear from the be- ginning of the book and your fear and respect of the beast grows right along with the main character, Uglik, a young Eskimo. The book is harsh as the Arclic itself is harsh and the reader becomes more thankful for his easy way of life with each passing chapter. The na- tive food is repulsive, their habits basic, and Ihcir element brutal it makes one appre- ciate the 8 to 5 world with all its little inconveniences. The story revolves around Uglik and two other Eskimos, Joe and Paki, and their long, desolate journey across endless miles of Arctic waste toward the town of Tintagel. Uguk's inexperience in tho ways of Arctic survival is compounded throughout the book by his gro wi n p emotional turmoil, and of course, the ever-present bear. Knox does a fine job In build- ing and maintaining suspense throughout the book, giving a chilling insight into the bleak- ness and Ihe dangers of the Arclic. It is good reading. Let us hope that Knox doesn't wait another .19 years before his next novel. GARRY ALLISON "Where to Eat In Canada 72-73" edited hy Anne Hardy and Sandra Gotlieh, wilh con- tributing editors (Oberon Press ladies who put out last year's tentative catalogue of good eating places really opened a can of worms, which doesn't sound palatable but it suits the situation. The first book was limited in its listing of good restaurants, especially those in western The second improves on that con- considcrably as gastro- nomes across the nation volun- teered their favorite haunts. Locally, Sven Ericksen's is listed, as is the Flying N. in Claresholm (a specially houso in an old Second World War airforce On travels it's good to have a on how best to treat your stomach, and onch edition of Where to Eat provides more information on the better places, the service, prices, and all you really need to know, ll's a commendable idea, keep it up, girls' MARGARET LUCKHURST Focus on the University By MICHAEL SUTHERLAND plus thirty JT doesn't really seem like much time has passed since I was putting down the words for the first of these columns, at- tempting to explain the possible format which might or not be used. Further it was just a few weeks ago when space was de- voted here to reminiscences about "firsts" at the university particularly the de- parture of the university's first chancellor, first president, first graduates, etc. This was all taking place in full awareness of the fact that a first of my own and "last" would occur this weekend. Spec- ifically, yesterday marked the end of days at the university, or in less dramatic terms nearly five years, having been a member of the "founding" staff. My res- ignation was submitted several months age and I now look forward to a new and dif- ferent life style. Normally I would be critical of an editor- ial writer getting too personal in a column supposedly intended to discuss the affairs of an institution but I feel the reflections here may represent more than mere whim- sey. I sincerely doubt that many young grad- uates of universities who possess, shall we say a BA and soma graduate work in bus- iness, can expect to receive the kind of ex- perience which has been afforded me as an employee of the university during its formative years. Flexibility, which has per- vaded the academic programs of this in- stitution, has also made its way into the administrative structure. The base provid- ed by this "first" full-lime work experience is certainly one which will hopefully permit constructive activity in the future. Probably the most disappointing actions have been made by those three or four individuals who made public points about their "little" personal complaints concern- ing the university, usually the day before they left town. The cheap shot is doubtless the most immature kind of criticism, but we all seem destined to be required to put up with the "cheap shooter." (I am certain my Friedenberg source for effective prose wouldn't approve of the word choice here but All that aside, it is Important to state in conclusion that my expeiience with people from nearly all universities in Canada clearly indicates that very favorable rela- tions exist between this institution and its community in spite of some thoughts to the contrary which I hear from a few in- dividuals both on and off campus. The ev- idence is all too clear when one considers the many thousands of people who have at- tended classes, concerts, or sports events; perused and made purchases at the annual art show; served on the board, senate, friends and alumni; and have contributed voluntarily to major events such as One Prairie Province, sod-turning ceremonies and now, Official Opening-72. Although I have been reluctant to use money as a base for creating positive arguments in selling these kinds of contributions to the university, one cannot avoid reference to the (plus) raised for scholarships by the friends during two campaigns, the many hundreds of private donations to the library, the special scholarships made available by individual contribution snd bs- quests, and indeed (lie nearly one-half mil- lion dollars pledged by southern Albcrt- ans to the 3AU Fund. Without the latter we simply wouldn't have the new physical education and fine aits complex. All these positive things and many others have gone by in this important first phase of develop- ment of the University of Lethbridge and I have been gratified to have been part of much of it and considering the new campus wasn't completed until a few days ago a great many people have put a lot of faith in other people and their ideas. May- be it's as Mr. Mowers said in 1969 something to do with .vision." To conclude I must express gratitude to The Herald for its co-operation and as- sistance over the years. The university lias benefited tremendously from the coverage received in this paper and it is my hope a similar kind of interaction will continue and flourish. Certainly we've had our quar- rels or disagreements or whatever you wish to call them, but that, I submit, is part of the business. Reciprocal co-opera- tion regarding news stories, photos, adver- tising, and even special issues has been outstanding. The university has begun what I think will be its most interesting academic year. In considering the above this is not a sup- erficial statement. Official Opening-72 is less than two months away and the univer- sity will finally be able to have an "Open- House" to effectively welcome a very in- terested community. My sincere appreciation to the many people who took time to comment on these columns and to request discussion of var- ious topics. The Voice Of One -By OR. FRANK S. MORLEY John Knox-hero or villain? TN HER traditional letter to the Assem- bly of the Church of Scotland, the Queen noted the commemoration this year of the 400th anniversary of the death of John Knox, commending has unfailing de- votion to the church, his fearless proclam- ation of the Gospel, and "the immense and lasting contribution which he made to the social well being of the nation." This is very generous of her since she must be aware of his famous "First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Reg- iment of written against "Bloody Mary" Tudor and declaring that to pro- mote any of those "weak, frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish creatures to any form of rule was the "subversion of good order, of all equity and as well as being contrary to God and re- pugnant to nature. Possibly the Queen was moved to sym- pathy for him, remembering how his dear friend, George Wishart, was strangled and burned before Cardinal Beaton's castle at St. Andrews. Possibly she knew that for 19 months he had been a prisoner in the French galleys under the most inhuman conditions. The slaves were chained side by side to benches which ran crossways from the bow to the stern of the ship. Above them was a raised platform where an officer walked with a whip, scourging the backs of the lazy or the exhausted. Winter and summer, day and night, the slaves were without cover. Undoubtedly such horrors combined with his exile in Europe, the Inquisition, the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, and his struggles with the three Marys Mary of Guise, Mary of England, and Man- of Scotland- hardened a naturally generous personality. Certainly there Is no more controversial character, cordially hated by some, hero- worshipped by others. Thomas Carlyle said that Knox was "the one Scotchman to whom his country and the world owes a debt." Froude, the historian maintains that amongst British reformers "no grander figurs can be found than that of Knox." Professor Hume Brown states, "Thinkers as wide as the poles apart from him have seen in Knox one of the great emancipa- tors of humanity, whose work left undone would irremediably have injured the high- est interests not only of his own country but the community of civilized nations." The historian Edwin Muir hates him and Antonia Fraser in "Mary Queen of Scots" thoroughly detests him. Muir claims that Knox robbed Scotland of all the benefits of the Renaissance and placed her under "the sordid and general tyranny which this fearful institution (the Kirk Session) melded for over 200 years." Miur forgets that the Kirk Session was elected by the people. Knox was no demo- crat in the modern sense of the woid, but he did declare to Mary Queen of Scots that if she did not fulfil her true functions as a queen the people had a right to depose her. Even Muir has to ad- mire the magnificent reply of Knox to Queen Mary when she asked, "What are you in this "A subject born within the same and albeit I neither be earl, lord, nor baron within it" The Earl of Morion pronounced his epitaph at his funeral, "Here lies CM who neither flattered nor feared any flesh." Quren Elizabeth cannot know many people like that. Broke again By Dong Walker AMAZINGLY enough, we arrived home from our holiday this year without having spent all our money. Usually we are In a stale of destitution at the end of a holiday. One year our improvidence reduced us to scrabbling under the car scats for loose change with which to buy bread for the pur- pose of making nasturtium leaf sandwich- es. So it was a pleasant change to get home and still have some money. The pleasure was short-lived, however. In quick succession the TV set conked out and the washer ground to a halt. Wo are broke again.