An American engineer journeys to the tropics to build a bridge and reclaim his manhood in this brilliant tragicomedy written during the height of the Cold War
Fleeing two bad marriages and the sneaking suspicion that failure is his destiny, Bernard Morrison boards a flight bound for a freshly liberated country in desperate need of infrastructure. When the plane finally touches down, the pilot has happy news: The airport and the capital are not under attack. So far, so good, thinks Morrison as he heads for the jungle.
The bridge he has been sent to build may be in the middle of nowhere, but the work requires discipline and fortitudequalities long missing from Morrison's routineand his interactions with the native laborers and their bosses are refreshingly out of the ordinary. When he discovers a primitive tribe living near the construction site, Morrison revels in their freedom and lack of inhibition. He vows to protect the innocent tribespeople, not realizing that it's too latethe bridge to the future has already been built.
Part farce, part tragedy, The Outcasts is a powerful morality tale in the tradition of Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene.