Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Book 6, 2018 - A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes

I have kept putting off writing about this extraordinary novel, because I wanted to do it justice. As I have no time, I can only recommend it very highly. It may offend modern sensibilities, not only because in the early part of the book, set in Jamaica, it refers to the indigenous people without much respect, but also because its main characters are children, and they are portrayed without sentimentality.

I have seldom read such an original book. It is beautifully written, the plot contains shocks, the imaginary protagonists are completely vivid and believable, and the author is wonderfully observant, with great powers of description, which he combines with insight and no illusion about humanity.

This book should be on any list of great twentieth century novels. It is strange and marvellous.

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