Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 19, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, May 19, 1971 THI LITHMIOOI HlRALD A collection of short book reviews Waters of Aswan" by Michael Helm, (Collins, 255 Michael Heim a German poli- tical journalist has written this brilliant novel on the possibility of the Aswan Dam giving way. In cinematographic fashion he has pieced together the events prior to the disaster and takes us from secret sessions of the Egyptian cabinet to plenary ones of the United Nations. While the dam is crumbling away we catch glimpses of shady deals being made and ob- serve diplomatic juggling as the disaster is being anticipated in all parts of the world. We listen to the contradictions of experts and as in real life we feel ap- palled in a detached way at hu- man infamy when the Israeli team that came to stabilize tha dam gets stoned to death. The picture Michael Heim has painted of the world is not a pleasant one but it certainly is very convincing. If you like an exciting and suspenseful novel this is the book for you. GERTA PATSON "Let's Knot" a Macrame Book by Donna M. Lightbody (George J. McLeod Ltd., 124 pages, paper S2.60. cloth A novice attempting to learn jnacrame will find the instruc- tions in this book simple and easy to follow. Once the knot- ting has been mastered there are further directions for mak- ing wall hangings, belts, neck- laces, bookmarks, shoulder bags and other items suitable for personal gifts or for the home. There is a useful list of supply sources. Also included is an interest- ing history of this ancient craft dating back to 6850 B.C. A few prints of some old samples are shown. Since macrame is an art as well as a craft a few colored Illustrations would have en- hanced the book. ELSIE MORRIS "The Town That Got Lost" by Pete London (Gray's Pub- lishing Ltd., Ill Anyox in northern British Columbia was a copper mining end smelting town of in- habitants when it died in 1935. Fire subsequently swept through the area leaving little to be identified. In 1971 Pete Loudon, who had lived in Anyox as a boy, re- turned with his eon and nephew to tramp over the old town site. This book is a mixture of narrative about that trip, of per- sonal reminiscences, and some historical motes (including a bit of data about Captain Geo- rge Vancouver's exploration of Observatory Inlet where Anyox is A 16 page section of photographs is also includ- ed. Former inihabitatns of Anyox would be especially delighted to read this book but it deserves a wider audience because it is a really entertaining and inter- esting piece of writing. DOUG WALKER "Strange Tales of Canada" by Louise Darios. (McGraw- Hill Ryerson Ltd., 162 pages, Added to these 11 strange tales should be a stranger one still how this book got published. Perhaps a lot was lost in the translation from the original French. It may be some people's type of book, but it certainly wasn't mine. The only tele I found enjoyable was the Manitoba one concern- ing the Seventh Son of a Sev- enth Son. GARRY ALLISON "The first Babybook Cook- book" by Meliaa M o r ris (George J. McLeod Ltd-, S5.95, IIS A cook book for babies? Well it does make a bit of sense, what with the exorbitant price of baby food at today's inflated prices. There are recipss for soups, fruit, casseroles, des- serts, etc. in fact almost everything from soup to nuts. It's a nice little book, the type of thing Granny can give the new mother instead of another baby jacket, and it costs about the same. MARGARET LUCKHURST "Lives Of Girls And Wom- en" by Alice Munro Mc- Graw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 7.54 pages, From mothers and maiden aunts to eccentric old uncles, Alice Munro portrays the pie of Jubilee in a well-writ- ten novel about Delia Jordan, smalltown girl. Thought-provoking and dar- ingly narrated, you will find joursclf reliving poignant, bit- ter-sweet memories of long-for- go'ten school days, of popular- jiy or unpopularity, unrequit- ted love, final exams and old teachers who made you miser- able. Alice Munro won the 1961 governor-general's award for fiction for her first book, Dance Of The Happy Shades, a superb collection of short stories. ANNE SZALAVARY "Rule Britannia" by Daph- ne DuMaurier iDoubleday, 295 This is one of DuMaurier's bast novels in a long time. It deals with a hypothetical situ- ation at some point in the fu- ture when an alliance is form- ed between the United States and Britain to ward off the threat of encroaching condi- tions in the Communist world and Europe. Britain has with- drawn from the Common Mark- et and at first welcomes the United States support, even their military might which practically takes over. The story revolves around Emma who lives with her ec- centric grandmother, a famous retired actress. The old girl has adopted six sons o! var- ious backgrounds and disposi- tions, and it is in this setting that we see the possibility of the British Bulldog taking a beating from Uncle Sam. I have never thought of this au- thor as being especially witty, but my family and I all had a good laugh over the crazy an- tics of this faded old actress and I recommend the book highly as a spring cure for what ails you. MARGARET LUCKHURST "Honky, The Christm a s Goose" by Chip Young (Clarke Irwin and Company L'mited, 34 pages, This is a hard cover book with large pages, bright pic- tures and a short, interesting and exciting story about an un- usual Canadian Goose. Mr. Young adds a b't of realism that a young reader of three to five years would be able to prasp. The art work goes hand in hand with the prose, is very bright and aimed at the young reader. Perhaps the most significant print on the book is "A Cana- dian children's book." RIC SWIHART "Fenian Fever: An Anglo- American Dilemma" By Leon O Crion (Clarke Irwin, 284 With the current unrest in Ire snd, this book points to the long-standing conflict bei-ween Britain and Ireland. James Stephens and Thomas O'Mah- oney founded the Fenians in 1858, known as the Irish Repub- lican Brotherhood. Stephens was in charge of organization- al work in Ireland, while 0'- Mahoney in the U.S. tried to raise money and arms for a war of liberation in Ireland. He managed to recruit Irish- American veterans of Civil War and planned an invasion on Canada which was easily put down. In Ireland a similar invasion was also suppressed and Stephens was defrocked as its leader. The Fenians then failed be- cause they simply were not strong enough in number and because there were nsver-end- ing fights between the lead's of the movement. 0 Brion dwells a great deal on the strain it caused in British relations, but doesn't go into the first early swells of Irish unrest which slowly de- veloped as it was colonized. It's an interesting book with per- haps a rather slanted point of view, but it slill doesn't come to grips with the basis for the unrest in Ireland which has gone on for far too long. MARGARET LUCKHURST "The Ghost Ship" by Del- bert A. Young. (Clarke, Ir- w'n and Co. Ltd., 191 pages, What's a boy from 178th Street in Edmonton doing fight- ing Spaniards alongside Sir Francis Drake on the Golden Hind? That's what this book is all about. It's a tale spun among the riggings of the great Bailing ships with golden treasure, squalls, hangings and war as the backdrop. Edmon- ton writer Delbert Young uses real people with only the young hero and his friend cre- ated especially for this fine youth book. It's an intriguing, enterprising yarn. GARRY ALLISON "The Dolorosa Deal" bv Blaine Littell, (Collins, 222 pages, Samuel Webster is an Ameri- can agent sent to Jerusalem to track down an agent-provoca- teur who plans to aggravate the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sam gets involved with saint very intriguing people. There's the uncooperative CIA man, the racist American evangelist, and a drunken English Major who is not as stupid as he pre- tends to be. Among the local residents he meets the Arab Abdin quisling or hero? and Avidaf, deputy mayor of Jerusalem, whose delightful daughter Tikva, provides Sam with information and relaxa- tion. This is a well written, fast moving novel and as the pub- lishers' blurb promises, it im- parts some fascinating side- lights on Jerusalem and the Arab-Israeli problem. I eagerly await the further adventure of Samuel Webster which author Blaine Littell is currently writ- ing. TERRY MORRIS "Hypnosis: is it for Lewis R. Wolberg, M.D. (Longman Canada Ltd., 229 From tune to time hypnosis enjoys a flurry of popularity. Entertainers exploit it in so- called "daring feats" of public hypnoses when whole groups of peop'e are called upon a stage snd put to sleep before a live audience. In the medical field, doctors are divided on how ef- fective it is in childbirth, sur- gical operations, and for treat- ing conditions such as alcohol- ism and obssity. The fact that it is one of the oldest known snelhods of healing has never cleared up its mystery. The author of this book is a psychiatrist who usss hypnosis in the treatment of mental dis- turbances and disorders. He points out the advantages and disadvantages of hypnotherapy. He explains various hypno is methods, the susceptibility of the subject and the outcome of the treatment. One thing for certain, it can be a dangerous thing for amateurs to play around wi'h and do-it-yourself- ers should leave it strictly to the experts. MARGARET LUCKHURST "Collected Poems, The Two Seasons" by Dorothv Live- say (McGraw Hill Ryerson Ltd., 368 pages, hard cover and soft Dorothy Livesay writes with incomparable feeling, expres- sing herself with strength. This is a nostalgic recollection of days gone by, old loves, old hats, people from the past rais- ing their heads in ghostly mien. She relates of town and coun- try living with a sweet sensi- tive perspective, a touch of near naivete, so good to read and feel. This is a book of poems to be savored at will as one might savor a cool drink from a fresh spring on a hot day. A lovesome thing! ANNE SZALAVARY "The Low Salt, Low Choles- terol Cookbook" by Myra Wal- do (Longman Canada Ltd., 322 pages, It's very difficult to find reci- pes for folk who are on low salt, low cholesterol diets, and the author who has compiled these has done a great service. Medical research has establish- ed that our super-rich die s contribute to heart disease, and that sensible people can eat well and with variety if they just learn what is good and is bad for them. The reci- p2s are nutritious and uncom- p'ka.ed, and each one tallies the calories content, plus the amount of saturated and poly- unsaturated fat in each serv- The Voice Of One -By. DR. FRANK S. MORLEY wg. MARGARET LUCKHURST Bursts of beauty by Bill Groenen Four reporters describe Jesus "Jesus: The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, combined in one nar- rative and rendered in mod- ern English" (McClelland and Stewart Ltd., S6.93, 222 pages) What a good idea this is! The gospels have often been pub- lished in parallel columns but never, so far as I know, have they been combined into a sin- gle narrative. Readers even ones thoroughly familiar with the material will find it a fresh experience to go through this account. The basic work in combining the gospels was done by Char- les Templeton in the days when he was an evangelist. The job of producing the material in modern English was done last year. An editorial committee of five men examined the wcrk to ensure that the text remained fa thTul to the sources. It is a pleasing rendition. Wisely, some paraphrasing was allowed in the interest of clar- ity. Good sense, based on sound scholarship, didn't always pre- vail unfortunately. A case in point occurs in the story of tho triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Instead of following the simple story in Mark where only a single donkey is mentioned, the account in Matthew is prefer- red. Matthew, because of his intent to establish that 01 d Testament prophecy had been literally fulfilled, ignored the parallelism peculiar to Hebrew poetry snd came up with two animals. That error didn't need to be perpetuated in this mod- ern version. Occasionally there is a foot- note drawing attention to the fact that there are irreconcil- ab'e differences between the gospels. Such an instance oc- curs in the discussion of divorce where Matthew has Jesus state an exception but Mark does not. A footnote might have been in order to indicate that Matthew's version of the sign of Jonah undue importance to rl'e preat f'sh, a mere pnro in tha storv) docs not with Mark or Luke and is unsupported by a second account in Matthew (cf One of the rer-lly surprising features of the combined nar- rative is the amount of material drawn from John. It was lorg held that John was more a me- ditation on the life of Jesus than an account drawn from remembered deeds and sayings of Jesus. But scholars have tended latterly to concede that there are genuine historical ele- ments in John so there would likely be agreement that parts of John should be woven in with the three synoptic gospels. However, doubts might still re- main about treating the utter- ances of the Jesus of John the same as those of the Jesus of the synoptics. Even a modern rendition cannot reconcile the difference. There is at least one error that should be corrected when the book goes into a second printing. In the story of the disciples on the road to Em- maus (p.190) one of the men says, in part, "Some of the woman in our group came to us yesterday with an incredible tale about going this morning to the tomb Narrators don't usually tell "yesterday" about things that happen "this morning." That probably should read, "early in the morning." On the whole this is a fine pubMcation and deserves warm praise. The glossary and the chart identifying source mater- ial for each page are useful additions. DOUG WALKER Where has the shudder gone? "The Times" Anthology of Detective Stories." (Clarke Irwin and Company Ltd., Either British writers aren't what they used to be or some tastes in mystery have become geared strictly to the sex and violence of today's entertain- ment. No Philip Chandler or Mickey Spillane here. Just an "award-winning" collection of staid British sleuths and at least two "locked room" mys- teries. Sponsored by The London Times, writers were encour- aged to submit short mystery attempts for judgment by Dame Agatha Christie, Lord Butler (president of the Royal Society of Literature) and playwright Tom Stoppard. Cash prizes were awarded to the top three entries and the best 10 stories are compiled for publication here. Tlie entire venture mav been entertaining for Christie and company but it's a sure bet their results will not be as en- thralling for the reader. There's little suspense in any of the selections presented. The reader knows full well the mas- ter criminal will be unmasked during the (yawn) drawing room conference of all sus- pects. Looking for some of the skill- ed terror included in works by the father of modern mystery, Edgar Allen Poe? Forget it. There's no fright here. Listed as first prize winner in this competition is John Sladek, whose book "By An Unkown Hand" bears a remarkable sim- ilarity to a recent plot used on the television series Banacek. As banal as Banacek has proved to be, any prospective reader of this anthology would be better off tuned to summer reruns than attempting a shud- der from these mysteries. On the other hand, if you have an elderly aunt somewhere where the sun has yet to set on the British Empire, has The Times got a book for you. HERB LEGG Hymns, yes; harmony, no When General Wolfe's troops were sta- tioned in Aberdeen they held Sunday church parades into which they introduced the innovation of hymn-singing. At that time, the middle of the eighteenth cen- tury, psalms only had been sung and a strong conservative element stoutly resist- ed both the hymns and the "quick" way of singing them. Nevertheless the cathed- ral obtained a trooper, Thomas Cbannsn, to be their choirmaster and the "quick" singing of the hymns brought great en- thusiasm as opposed to the "slow" singing of the psalms led by a rival party under Gideon Duncan. Duncan resorted to dirty tactics, obtaining three boys to sit on the pulpit steps and sing out of turn. The synod of Aberdeen and the university moved to restore order. Duncan was tried in court for singing out of tune, fined 50 pounds, and imprisoned until the fine was paid, while Hie bays were given a sound thrash- ing. This conflict between the "slow" singers and the "quick'1 stagers reminds us that hymns have always been a bone of con- tention. John Calvin introduced the singing of metrical psalms into the services and refugees returning to England during the reign of Elizabeth brought them back with them. Despite the dislike of Queen Elizabeth for these "Geneve jiggs" it is said that the psalms were "roared aloud" not only in church but in the streets, and an observer reports that at Paul's Cross you might see persons, young and old, all singing together as sing- ing became a passion. Shakespeare might scoff at Puritans "singing Psalms to horn- but everywhere popular tunes were diverted to the singing of Psalms as t method of popularizing reformed faith. John Hus and his Bohemian Brethren had long since made hymn-singing popular, a tradition taken up by Martin Luther who himself composed hymns and encour- aged the congregations to sing. From an old Gregorian melody Luther composed ttie battle song based on Psalm. 46, "A mighty fortress is our God." Hymns thus became a way of propagating faith. It was said that the hymns of Isaac Watts were "rhymed theology." Most successful of all in this use of hymns were John and Charles Wesley. The great danger in hymns, dearly ssen by St. Augustine who loved them, is that people pay attention to the tune rather than what is sung. EzeHel long since said, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy -words, but they do them not." One sees this loss of meaning in hymns like that of Wittier's where fa "Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our fever- ish "feverish" is changed to "fool- ish." The last verse of Doddridge's para- phrase of Jacob's vow, which contained the promise to titha, is omitted. Such spon- taneous, lovely songs as "Fairest Lord Jesus" are tortured out of shape. Weak church committees with little knowledge of hymncdy are at the mercy of good mu- sicians. This peril runs throughout the church. Hymns are primarily an act of praise and prayer to God in which the wor- shipper, in awe-struck adoration, makes a total self-offering to God. SATURDAY TALK -By NORMAN SMITH Opening the cottage They say you can tell the gentle mad- ness of gardeners because each spring they believe once again all the seed catalogues say. Gardener I'm not. but a kindred though less gentle madness lurks in me as in all cottage owners; spring's first glimpse of it tells us this is the year all wJl be sst right, whistling as we go. The dock will get a new spine, the kitchen chimney won't ooze ominously, bats will be barred from the bog. And that "corner" at the room which is forever mine: it will be rid of yellowed magazines and ancient plane and train schedules (so ancient that in those days they ran to Those novels which guests brought to read and didn't want to finish but left so we could read they'll be bundled off to some unfortunate bazaar. And the jigsaw puzzles with missing pieces will jig no longer except into the inciner- ator which will get a new screen for the chimney. Ah yes, opening the cottage is happier than closing it. The beaver was fudging up the culvert ere we arrived; two ground- hogs beat it across the lane to warn of our coining; no trees had fallen across the roof, not even the leaning birch so enfeebled by woodpeckers. Did we imagine it, or were the winter de- signs of Jack Frost on the kitchen window still slightly discernible? And inside, -bad the lenses on two metal flashlights crack- ed from winter's cold, and should we here- after leave them open? (The research council says mois- ture inside could form frost on inside of pane; if it stays long the water evaporates without the frost melting, the frost "sub- liming" (ahem) itself, and dust could ac- cumulate on the frost pattern. As to flash- lights, council also says a hesitant glass contracts when cooled, setting up ten- sile stress in the lens. If that's ill put, blame me, not the council.) Duck we saw, and the barred owl called from the bush every day at too early for loons. Yet though we almost worship their nostalgic melancholy and giddy laugh- ter, I rate one sound of spring more glori- ous even than the loon. It is the call from the cottage to me down at the water-side pump from a wife even more surprised than elated: ''it's The real mystery of spring is how I can get all those pipes and fittings together and the motor running. I shall tell it to St. Peter unless there comes a spring when the water respondetih not. I will not, however, tell that worthy gate- keeper that I had locked the woodshed door with the snap padlock, leaving the key inside. Sawing one's own padlocks with a hack saw borrowed from tba genial Mc- Creerys who run our comer store is not a bracing sport. Incidentally, once we did gain entrance to the shed and were surveying the noble collection of the years on walls, shelves, in boxes and on the floor my wife remarked: "This year I'm in favor of throwing out anything that doesn't work." Now I wonder what she meant? Then there's Phoebe, who last year kept us from using our front door until mid- June. A dear thing she was, nesting on a spotlight immediately against the door. We watched her build her nest, then sit on her eggs or keep vigil over them from nearby, then feed the young, then teach the young to fly. It was a long time to lose a door! This year, our second day up, there she was fluttering in the big spruce, ejneing the site of her former home. As no work had begun on a new nest we felt we could take defensive action and still remain members of the Ontario Federation of Naturalists. A tin can fashioned over the light with a slippery peak on it would do the trick, said my mate; and so it was done. Wheth- er Phoebe won't just delight she now has a room with a view we'll know only next visit. But we hope she'll stick around some- where and are sure she will, for she is definitely an Avis who tries harder. P. A. Taverner knew her well in his Birds of Can- ada, 1934: "It is a friendly, familiar bird and comes close to man wherever it finds a wel- come. the mud nests are plastered on the slightest projection even under the family porch (he might have said Unfortunately its large, untidy looking nests are occasionally the dwelling place of in- numerable parasites, in other words, bird- lice. The usual course is to knock the nest down with a stick and apply boiling water. The application of common insect powder to the nest is better for this will kill the parasites and help to retain about the house a confiding and attractive bird. It is re- assuring to know, however, that bird-lice will not remain on the human body, the temperature of which is not high enough for them." It all reminds me of that great friend and fine writer Ernie Harrold. In June of 1943 our block on Rideau Terrace got no sleep from 5-00 a.m. because a downy-head- ed woodpecker beat the hell out of a Bell Telephone metal box for two hours every morning, not caring at all that he was getting a busy signal. The fifth morning all was strangely quiet. The night before Ernie "just took a bit of cloth up the pole and made a sort of snood, just as throw- ing a cape over a woman's shoulder, it was really nothing at ail." But the incidents are not quite the same. Ernie, a gentleman, was merely prevent- ing the woodpecker from banging its beak out of shape; whereas we in this permis- sive age were refusing houseroom to a lady doubtless in a family way. "Who needs two Picket gone By Dong Walker Two years at a special dinner in support of First United Church I was pre- sented with the beginning of a fence a single picket, painted white. As soon as the ground permitted it I plant- ed that picket at the southwest corner of our lot where it has stood sentind until recently. Now it is there no more; someone carted it away. I am not too upset by my loss. Maybe the person who took the picket needed it to finish his fence. dam thing wasn't showing any signs of growing anyway.