As a novel (which this purports to be) this lengthy book is an overblown polemic; as polemic, it is laughably one-sided. The whole thing reads like a sub-Buchan - who really knew how to write, despite his jingoistic lapses - harangue on the healthy,
sane pursuits of fox-hunting and the like over the supposedly unhealthy, life-denying pursuits of - well, of anybody who does not agree with Venator`s point of view.
All the `baddies` here are loutish, unclean, cynical types; whereas all the `goodies` (the hunting fraternity, basically) are healthy, sensible and optimistic. Venator never develops character, save for his vacillating, fairly likable hero, who goes from a reluctant espousal of the anti-hunting lobby`s ideas to (surprise!) seeing the error of his ways in the welcoming arms of an upper-class `gal`, who makes love to him in the woods (how Lawrentian - if only!), all the while engaging him in endless pseudo-philosophical talk about how healthy and life-affirming her lifestyle is.
The trouble - one of many - of this `novel` is that Venator manipulates his puppet-characters so that his views are put (endlessly) into the mouths of his `goodies`, while the opposing ideas are given short shrift in the mouths of his `baddies`.
This approach does not a novel make.
And his dialogue! One example: when was the last time you used, or heard anyone use, the expression `when I awoke`? `Awoke`? `Woke up`, for heaven`s sake! The text is littered with such pompous anachronisms.
There are a few interesting ideas here, and some food for thought. But it`s all so one-sided that one is left open-mouthed at the author`s audacity in calling this a novel.
That my fellow-reviewers (so far) can have awarded this absurd effort five stars is, to put it charitably, a touch misguided. Have they never read a real novel? This sure ain`t one.