Colonel's Dream (The). By Charles W. Chesnutt, Doubleday, Page & Co., New York. 5x8 in. 294 pages $1.50.
It has not been an infrequent occurrence in the history of American fiction that a writer of excellent short stories fails lamentably when he attempts to write a novel. Mr. Chesnutt a few years ago printed a volume of short stories which deserve to rank very high in their own class of literature. The present book, however, is loosely constructed and is often prolix and dull. It deals with some of the recent problems of the race question in the South, and has special reference to the peonage system. Some of the characters are fairly well drawn, and occasionally the dialogue is clever and interesting; but, taken all in all, the book is not as successful as one could wish, and certainly is distinctly inferior to the author's earlier work, as seen in the two volumes called "The Conjure Woman" and "The Wife of His Youth."