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The Crutch of Memory

A novel by

Hugh Collins came to Greece for a holiday. He was twenty-five, personable and successful, and drove across Europe to be a tourist in this welcoming but inscrutable land.Quite casually he came together with Wendy Drake, young and pretty, competently hitch-hiking. She, a happy, natural person, was deeply puzzled by Hugh's withdrawn and complex emotions and with single-minded purpose set out to find the answer to them, because she hated things that stunted people and made them miserable.By the time she had succeeded, by the time she had shown Hugh a truth he had hidden from himself since childhood, even Wendy's gaeity and self-assurance were reduced to tears. Hugh and Wendy were made loving prisoners by the harsh land of Greece, where the people were and remain civilised to a depth northerners find incredible.For Hugh, the arid personal failure behind his outward success could be rectified only by his final response to the austere command made by Greece:know thyself! This book can be read in several ways. A love story in an exotic setting, a travel book recording a voyage of self-discovery, a psychological novel treating a major sexual problem with insight and sympathy, but as any of these it is to read with increasing excitement and pleasure.

One of Britain's most prominent and prolific authors in the sci-fi genre - converted to it by early readings of H. G. Wells - he had written and published his first novel by 17. His American debut was with 'Thou Good and Faithful' in Astounding, in 1953. In 1958 he was actively involved in the CND, subsequently touring many countries to further its cause. It was from a visit to Greece in 1960, that this novel is inspired. This is the author's first general and non sci-fi novel.

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