“But he felt afraid to write. He did not want to awaken his own imagination to the world he was trying to leave behind him. Out here he might be living an illusion of some sort, perhaps? But at any rate, it was just as real and its pleasures were just as tangible as any he had experienced before he came here.”
The short meditation on writer’s block is atypical of a grand realist narrative. The neglected novel in question has a strong flavour of Ernest Hemingway about it. Certainly, the themes of drinking, adventure, politics and womanising could have featured in a text by the famous writer.
However, Farson lacks the succinct style of Hemingway. Nevertheless, the author has a sympathy for ordinary people which is winning. Moreover, Farson has the ability to make politics come alive. His warmth for the sincere George Lansbury is refreshing, while his contempt for cynical opportunists remains of enduring relevance.
The foolish participation of sections of the Labour Party in imposing cuts during an economic crisis is worth remembering now. Furthermore, it is essential to recall how Ramsay MacDonald caused a disastrous split by joining the National Government. The Labour Party is facing huge challenges today, but addressing them properly is only possible if loyalty to the leadership becomes more prevalent.