The Invisible Island, by Irwin Stark (The Viking Press; $3). This first novel by Irwin Stark, a young New York school teacher, is an encouraging performance. Decidedly it has its faults.
Chaplin: Last of the Clowns, byParker Tyler. Illustrated with Photographs (Vanguard Press; $3). Parker Tyler’s Chaplin, Last of the Clowns, has all the virtues and weaknesses of his earlier books. It is an inextricable blend of real depth and false glamor. Reading this book is like riding on a seesaw: at one moment you are fascinated by the author and at the next exceedingly irritated. Tyler conceives Chaplin as a clown with an alter ego.
The Loved One, by Evelyn Waugh (Little, Brown and Co.; $2.50) This cold-blooded little novel made its first appearance five months ago in Cyril Connolly’s Horizon, and almost immediately aroused clashing comment. Waugh himself has anticipated this reaction in a nervous prefatory note to the American edition, called “A Warning,” in which he says, in part; “This is a purely fanciful tale, a little nightmare produced by the unaccustomed high living of a brief visit to Hollywood…. this is a nightmare and in parts, perhaps, somewhat gruesome.
Lenin: A Biography, by David Shub (Doubleday and Company; $5). I’ll Never Go Back: A Red Army Officer Talks Back, by Mikhail Koriakov (E. P. Dutton; $3). Tell the West, by Jerzy Gliksman (The Gresham Press; $3.75). Of these three books, only one, David Shub’s biography of Lenin, is a useful contribution to an understanding of Russia and the Russians. The other two are not unfamiliar specimens. Each is an undocumented, uncorroborated narrative of harrowing personal experiences in the Soviet Union. Neither has any particular literary, autobiographical or historical merit.