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Father Bosco to Africa

Walter Nash, 5 February 1987

The Red Men 
by Patrick McGinley.
Cape, 304 pp., £10.95, January 1987, 0 224 02386 1
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Chat Show 
by Terence de Vere White.
Gollancz, 207 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 575 03910 8
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Leaden Wings 
by Zhang Jie, translated by Gladys Yang.
Virgo, 180 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 86068 759 7
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Russian Novel 
by Edward Kuznetsov, translated by Jennifer Bradshaw.
Quartet, 285 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 7043 2522 5
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Richard Robertovich 
by Mark Frankland.
Murray, 216 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 7195 4330 4
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... Patrick McGinley’s pastoral parable, The Red Men, begins with Gulban Heron, rural overlord of a hotel, a shop and four sons. There is dark-haired Jack, capable, ruthless, dissolute, his father’s favourite, and there are three carrot-polled losers, the red men of the title: Cookie, a jaded man of letters, typically apt to give life a literary form and content; cynical Joey, with his fire-scarred face, who mistrusts the emotions and gives his mind to geology and shopkeeping; and Father Bosco, with his fire-damped soul, reminiscently plagued by lust and distressed by the loneliness of his calling ...

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