Books: Forever Monty

BAND OF ANGELS (375 pp.)—Robert Penn Warren—Random House ($3.95).

Amantha ("Manty") Starr is one of those field marshals of amour to whom every man is a potential casualty. The literary company she keeps is Amber and Scarlett O'Hara, and it is somewhat surprising company for Pulitzer-Prizewinning Novelist (All the King's Men) and Poet Robert Penn Warren. In this magnolia-scented potboiler of the Civil War era, he has little to offer his readers but blood, sex, sweat and crocodile tears.

Amantha grows up in pre-Civil War peace and plenty at Starrwood, a Kentucky plantation where the happy field hands gather round to serenade her...

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