by STERLING HAYDEN
700 pages. Putnam. $12.95.
It is not hard to find fault with this voluminous first novel of brutality at sea. Joseph Conrad and John Dos Passes, writing in shifts, might have been able to handle its alternating themes: the oppression of sailors during a perilous voyage from New York around Cape Horn to San Francisco, and the near dissolution of U.S. society into class war preceding the presidential election of 1896. The first 50 pages show that Author Sterling Hayden, movie star turned writer, has little hope of bringing his book under artistic control.
Full-rigged Monster. Yet by the last...