MADMAN'S MEMORY (213 pp.)Roger VercelTranslated by Warre Bradley WellsRandom House ($2.50).
U.S. readers know French Novelist Roger Vercel for his Tides of Mont St.-Michel, a fictional Cook's Tour of the famed medieval island abbey off Brittany. Less ambitious but just as colorful is the latest Vercel novel published in the U.S.the story of a rich, gone-to-seed Breton family who live at Plangomeur, a mansion not far from Mont St.-Michel.
Plangomeur was built by a buccaneer named La Hourie. Of all the pirate's heirs, only two women are left: fat, half-mad old Lucie La Hourie and her daughter-in-law Françoise.
Lucie's husband ("descended from the...