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Back in print after nearly fifty years–the acclaimed fiction debut of novelist H. L. Humes, co-founder of The Paris Review
“Immensely intelligent and energetic, intensely dramatic and melodramatic, heroically overwritten yet sharp, insightful, and precise, The Underground City is an astonishing book by a writer of abundant gifts whose resurrection is long overdue.”
It is the late 1940s and Paris is in turmoil. A man named Dujardin is sentenced to death for treason, sparking general strikes and threats of riots across the city. In the meantime, John Stone, a war-weary American and former secret agent, finds himself being investigated as a suspected Communist. What has brought these two men to their fates? H.L. Humes spins a thrilling account of the French underground during the last years of World War II, and the events that lead to the Dujardin affair. His many memorable characters include Adriane, loved by both Stone and Carnot, a fanatic Communist; Bruce Sheppard, the American ambassador to France, a statesman of vision and compassion; and Solange Récamier, the sophisticated young Parisian widow who finds meaning in trying to salvage Stone’s broken life.
The Underground City displays H.L. Humes’s youthful literary skill and a striking capacity for fast-paced narrative. This is a brilliant tour de force.
“A major achievement . . . [The Underground City] attains its full stature in poetry and truth. . . . [This is a] many-sided, absorbing novel, written on a grand scale, that holds the reader’s attention from the first to the last of its many pages.”
–New York Herald Tribune
“Magnificent . . . [The Underground City] has verisimilitude and scope, action and depth of emotion.”
“A work of power, maturity and distinction.”