Then Spoke the Thunder

Elwyn Chamberlain, Author Grove/Atlantic $21.95 (450p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1060-2
Using the always-effective ruse of having his protagonist return to the scene of youthful exploits, artist-and-novelist Chamberlain ( Hound Dog ) here propels the reader into an Arabian Nights mixture of travelog, political commentary, romance, comparative religion text and just plain adventure. David Bruce, nearing retirement, returns to India after a 40-year absence, planning to revisit scenes and friends of his youth and young manhood and to show his wife Philippa something of his past. They arrive during the seige of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, and when Indira Gandhi is assassinated shortly thereafter, the Bruces are caught up in the ensuing violenceDavid fatally. Chamberlain does a grand job of transmuting personal experiences into rousing drama; he has a realistic attitude towards India's troubleshere conveyed by the Bruces' Indian friends and other characters. Many aspects of his plot are cliches, but this failing becomes immaterial once the pages start turning. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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