Ralph Marlowe

by James Ball Naylor

Ralph Marlowe is laid in the hill country of southeastern Ohio. The plot is romantic, complicated and intensely interesting; and best of all, out of the ordinary. The characters are drawn from life; and so well drawn that on finishing the book, one looks upon them as actualities--acquaintenances. The author's style is vigorous, crisp and clear, no pictures of persons or places are needed to help out the reader's imagination. Ralph Marlowe is like--and yet totally unlike--David Harum, Eben Holden, and other books of that class. Most books of that kind depend upon the eccentricities and individuality of one character to make them popular. Dr. Naylor has been prodigal in this respect. No less than five or six eccentrics, all distinct, all worthy of consideration, figure on the pages of his novel; Dr. Barwood, a raw-edged, gruff old village physician--an honest, honorable, lovable old chap; Jep Tucker, a loquacious and incorrigible yarnspinner; Tom Nutt, a stuttering oddity; Lon Crider, a volatile drummer and his ever-present buttonhole bouquet; Sam Clark, the telegrapher. The story should be dramatized; it would be irrisistible.

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