Thursday, August 25, 2011
The Arrow: Review
The Arrow by Christopher Morley is his first book to disappoint. Up till now I had thoroughly enjoyed each book I had read by him. There is little of Morley's wit and humor in this telling of the fable of Cupid and Psyche.
What we have is a young American man headed by steamship to England as a Rhodes scholar. Aboard ship he becomes very susceptible to the moods of the sea and especially entranced by a little grey dress. "It was an exquisitely attractive thing, a sort of cool silky stuff with crisp little pleats. Its plain simplicity made it admirably piquant. Somehow I had the feeling that anyone who would wear so delicious a costume must be interesting." He thinks about the dress often during the journey, but never manages to meet its owner. Once in England, he is sampling the delights of London before heading to college and is suddenly stuck by an arrow while in the middle of Picadilly Circus. It is an arrow that only he can see...but which is quite sharp and he must be careful how he stands or walks lest he jab others without meaning to. He has, quite literally, been struck by Cupid. He spends some time trying to remove the thing, visiting a doctor about it, and finally appealing to his Embassy. He is sent to a lecture (to take his mind off his troubles) and there he meets a young woman in a similar predicament.
This is a somewhat interesting story of what happens when Cupid's dart strikes home. As a fable itself, it's not bad. But it definitely lacks the usual Morley pizazz. After Kathleen and The Haunted Bookshop my expectations were quite high. The excitement and adventure just were not there. Two and a half stars.