The Light and the Dark is the fourth novel in C. Snow 's Strangers and Brothers series. Set in England in the lead-up to and during World War II , it portrays Lewis Eliot's friendship with the gifted scholar and remarkable individual Roy Calvert, and Calvert's inner turmoil and quest for meaning in life.
Calvert was based on Snow's friend, Coptic scholar, Charles Allberry. The title - The Light and the Dark - refers to the beliefs of Manichaeism , which the book refers to as "Christian heresy" but is now often referred to as religion in its own right. Man's spirit is part of the light, and his flesh of the dark. The title has resonance to the buildup to war, the sense of catastrophe so widespread in the s, and Calvert's mental health problems.
Allberry, who translated the Manichean Psalmbook, is harrowing, intense, yet shot through with gusts of comedy. A novel of friendship, politics, loss and and courage autocorrect added "corkage" and in view of the amount of booze put away I'm inclined to adopt it. Dec 09, Laura rated it really liked it Shelves: Aug 03, Pipkia rated it it was amazing. I can see why, for some, this is a desperately hard novel to understand.
This page was last edited on 15 January , at For example, in the novels set in the Cambridge college a thinly veiled Christ's , a small, disparate group of men is typically required to reach a collective decision on an important subject. Snow's novel, "The Light and the Dark". Published October 11th by House of Stratus first published Snow , published between and One does not necessarily require a "story" as such, but a sense of direction. In both novels, the characters strongly resist letting in the external world, whether it be the press, public opinion, the college "Visitor", or outside experts.
For myself, it is all to easy. I am somewhere between Roy Calvert and Lewis Eliot: This novel got everything perfect. Despite their similarities they also act as excellent foils, in politics, in background, in personality, and that is essentially what this novel is about—the pure, unconditional love between the two.
It is the most accurate depiction of the Greek concept of agape I have ever read. Snow is a firmly middlebrow novelist, and his touch is disconcertingly light. Sep 16, Stephen rated it really liked it Shelves: Roy Calvert is one of those characters who I fail to understand.
He doesn't really touch upon much of my experience, so I can't really say that I have experienced someone like him. I think that you would have needed to in order to understand this book.
On the face of it, Roy Calvert has everything that one could ask for. He has youth, vitality, good looks, charm, intelligence, position, and a good independent income.
I could name many, including myself, who would swap with that amount of good fo Roy Calvert is one of those characters who I fail to understand. I could name many, including myself, who would swap with that amount of good fortune. Yet he does not feel this is enough. What more could he want? Despite all of his advantages, he feels that he is lacking spiritually. He is unable to live spiritually, which means that he feels that he is unable to live a full life. The book is a narrative of how he struggles with the light of the spirit and the dark of the flesh.
It is a story of a journey to discover a spiritual heart, only to find that one does not exist. Eventually the story leads into tragedy - a novel form of suicide. I found the twist at the end - suicide by active war service - to be something ironic. Nowadays we would consider this to be heroic, but the book strips out the nobility of sacrifice and suggests that the character's death was something a little self centred.
In the course of coming to this conclusion, we touch upon a number of plot lines that are developed in previous and subsequent volumes. We are told of the episode of the cigarette case, which opens the story of George Passant. And we are made acquaintance with the characters of The Masters, who are developed further in The New Men. To that extent, this is a pivotal volume in the story of Lewis Eliot. It links his early years to his later years. As always, I found the book a delight to read.
The plot moves along at quite a good pace, the prose is not at all difficult, and I have a great deal of sympathy with most of the characters, if not all of them. I think that the one minor character who interests me the most is Bidwell, the scout in college.
He has a tale of his own to tell. The book is best recommended as a link text in the whole Strangers and Brothers series. It ties up a lot of loose ends from the earlier years, and prepares the ground for the works covering the later years. On that basis would I recommend it. Jan 05, Louisa Dusinberre rated it liked it.
Maybe he's rather dated but I find the books slow and one really does not know where he is going with the plot.
They smack of inexperience as a writer - too much detail and not enough forward movement. One does not necessarily require a "story" as such, but a sense of direction.
prog40.ru: The Light And The Dark (Strangers and Brothers) Book Box, a subscription that delivers hand-picked children's books every 1, 2, or 3 months. The Light and the Dark is the second in the Strangers and Brothers series. The story is set in Cambridge, but the plot also moves to Monte Carlo, Berlin and.
However as one does weave one's way through the book there is certainly matter for reflection - this book deals with manic depression and has some interesting insights. They deal with — among other things — questions of political and personal integrity , and the mechanics of exercising power.
All eleven novels in the series are narrated by the character Lewis Eliot. The series follows his life and career from humble beginnings in an English provincial town, to reasonably successful London lawyer, to Cambridge don, to wartime service in Whitehall, to senior civil servant and finally retirement.
The New Men deals with the scientific community's involvement in and reaction to the development and deployment of nuclear weapons during the Second World War. The Conscience of the Rich concerns a wealthy, Anglo-Jewish merchant-banking family. Time of Hope and George Passant depict the price paid by clever, poor young men to escape their provincial origins. Snow analyses the professional world, scrutinising microscopic shifts of power within the enclosed settings of a Cambridge college, a Whitehall ministry, a law firm.
For example, in the novels set in the Cambridge college a thinly veiled Christ's , a small, disparate group of men is typically required to reach a collective decision on an important subject.