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Darkness Falls from the Air Paperback – October 28, 2002
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A superb storyteller―SUNDAY TIMES
The missing writer of the forties
Prose barer than Heningway's
Balchin writes about timeless things, the places in the heart --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
During the Second World War Nigel Balchin worked as a psychologist in the personnel section of the British War Office, before becoming Deputy Scientific Advisor to the Army Council. He wrote numerous books, including THE SMALL BACK ROOM, also published by Cassell. He died in 1970.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story concerns Bill Sarratt who works in the civil service. He recognises that the bureaucracy which has built up during peacetime is harming the war effort and constantly fights to make his colleagues and superiors see that reform is necessary. He is continually frustrated by vested interests and incompetence. Balchin's attack on the petty functionaries who run the country rings true. It is amazing really, given wartime censorship and the demands of propaganda, that he was allowed to write it at all.
Sarratt also has marital difficulties. His wife Marcia is having an affair with a sensitive but weak man. Sarratt deals with this triangular relationship by allowing his wife to do as she pleases. All three meet up periodically and everyone is extremely polite on the surface, but the tensions are there and inevitably come to the surface. Balchin's account of a marriage in trouble is as interesting as his descriptions of the Blitz. The manners of these people, the way they interact, seem to come from a world as remote as the world of Jane Austen. Balchin again avoids cliché. He avoids moralizing. Marcia is a sympathetic character and is not condemned. Sarratt just wants her to have her fling and come back to him. It is how this love triangle resolves itself, and how it is all connected with the bombs which continue to fall, which makes this novel so well worth reading.