|07-05-2009, 03:41 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The sunny part of California
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Barbour, A. (Anna) Maynard: At the Time Appointed. v1, 5th July 2009
REVIEW: THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published July 18, 1903
Those who remember that excellent at¬tentive story, "That Mainwaring Affair,” will expect to find plenty of mystery and exciting Incidents in Mr. A. Maynard Barbour's latest novel, called "At the Time Appointed," and they will realize their expectations. No special prominence is given in it to detectives, to be sure, except in the case of a very amiable gentleman who has theories about being able to form mental pictures of people, even with regard to their exterior appearance, by studying their actions and the probable motives of these actions. and was thereby able to help the plot's advancement at a very critical moment by recognizing and pointing out the villain to the minions of the law. But the author has a certain way of forecasting events and making his people utter prophetic words, all bound to find their fulfillment somewhere before the last chapter is ended, that is eminently characteristic of one who delights in the knitting and ravel¬ing of the intricate plots which are a prime necessity in a detective story. The title itself cleverly suggests a long series of events slowly converging toward some mysterious¬ly critical moment in which all their crook-edness Is revealed and made straight for the delectation of at least two people; and that Is exactly the kind of a title that Mr. Barbour should have chosen for this story of long-delayed Justice and patient hoping.
The scene is laid In a little town up In the gold-mining region in the Rocky Mountain, and the tale starts in with a most re¬alistic and blood-curdling hold-up of a train by masked robbers. It Is marked by a murder which no shocks and horrifies the prospective hero, already infected with mountain fever, that be is plunged into an illness from which he barely escapes with his life, to find that all memory concerning his previous life and even of the errand that brought him West to Ophir In time to be sole witness of Harry Whitecomb’s murder has gone from his mind. As the leader of the robbers, the murderer, and the villain, who makes life miserable for all the good and deserving in Mr. Barbour's story, are one and the same half-breed Mexican, masquerading as a reputable citi¬zen, and as the only man who can identify him has lost his memory, it will be seen that 371 pages packed with happenings are none too many for the author to accomplish his designs In. Complications develop on every page: The hero falls In love, only to realize, when it is too late to regain his peace of mind, that it would be dangerous to contract new ties while the curtain that bad been drawn down behind his present life might at any time be raised and reveal duties that could not be cast aside. The villain becomes the loved one’s suitor, and has the advantage of being strenuously favored by the loved one’s insanely obstinate and opinionated father; even their wedding day arrives, making things look quite hopeless for the hero. But at this point the tables are turned, and, with the advent of the inevitable "heavily veiled lady clad all in black," the sophisticated reader has not the least doubt that virtue, In the shape of John Darrell, will triumph gloriously in the end, or, rather, "at the time appointed." To be sure, the restoration of Darrell's truant memory by a stroke or lightning that marked "as perfectly as though done In India ink with en artist's pen" the outline of the very scene—cliff and crag and mountain peak—where the storm overtook him and hurled him insensible to the earth, seems little short of a miracle to the practical mind; but lightning has been known in real life to do several very queer things, if not this one.
The main object in a story of this kind is to make the events hang together and the narration of them entertaining. Both these requisites Mr. Barbour has attained. People will be sure to read this story at one sitting, even if that involves hearing the clock strike several times after midnight and that is one test of at least one kind of excellence in a novel.
Interesting, that the New York Times reviewer does not appear aware, that the author was female.
I have added the original NYT review (OCR from The NYT archive) at the beginning of the book.
Also, I just realized that I have left small mirror indents in the original Word file, so I am uploading a fixed version: v1.1 and removing the old file. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Last edited by Sonist; 07-05-2009 at 06:52 PM.
|07-05-2009, 03:53 PM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Device: Kindle PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro
I have corrected the thread title to follow the required format:
author: title. version, upload date
This information is used to catalog the book so it is important that it be correct.
|07-05-2009, 03:55 PM||#3|
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Texas, USA
Device: Kindle; Sony PRS 505; Blackberry 8700C
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