TWO BOOK REVIEWS
Among the best sellers of very recent years are: Emerson Hough’s
“The Covered Wagon” and Edith M. Dell’s “The Top of the World.”
The former which has been widely reviewed by book and cinema
patrons has enjoyed an unique popularity in that it is a book of
really no very great merit but unusual in its setting which is the
American wilderness in the days of '48 and '49- Thus it serves some
what as a divertissement from the heavier and more serious books.
The story—a love story of not an unusual plot—is of two rivals
for the hand of the belle of the wagon train in which they are travel
ing to Oregon. The hero is favored by the mother because of his
gentility and strength; the father who leads the wagon train favors
the villain, for the hero’s better qualification for the office which he
holds incurs his envy. The heroine, because of false accuation made
by the villain, fights vainly to curb her indomitable love for the hero
as it grows daily. Thetjiero, a very reseved young man, who has on
several occasion snatched the girl from the jaws of death in which
peril she had found herself because of the villain, withdraws from the
train which has been unable to do without him throughout the journey
and turns toward California and—gold. Finally, he is forced to kill
the villain whose life he has spared only to imperil his own. Then fol
lows his long-wished for journey to Oregon, where his sweetheart,
weary with waiting receives him with that ecstatic, bubbling joy that
is known by all lovers.
“The Top of the World” is the story of a young lady who has
decided to spurn her suitors, renounce her family in aristocratic Eng
land to go to her betrothed in South Africa from whom she has re
ceived no news for a period much longer than the customary period.
.Upon her arrival she is met by the cousin of her sweetheart who is
the double of him. Finally, she learns the truth that her sweetheart
has become a drunkard and cannot help himself. Although she and
the cousin have married and have sworn to go not beyond the bonds
of a purely platonic friendship, she has her former lover brought to
her home and nurses the well-nigh dead man back to life. She finds
suddenly that she loves her altruistic husband and then together they
ride to the top of the world.
Both books are well worth the reading for there is nothing like
reading a book for one’s self rather than having to take it second
hand in a review where it may be construed differently to another’s
reading. “The Covered Wagon” is terse, singular and teeming with
romance. ‘The Top of the World^” which has also been filmed, is
the essence asceticism and romance—an educational love story which
no one might feel so haughty as not to deign to read.
—0. E. Jackson, '28.