Books: Teapot Tempest

A BREATH OF AIR (280 pp.)—Rumer Godden—Viking ($3).

Plots to William Shakespeare were as pots to a busy wizard—any old tub, begged, borrowed or stolen, would do to mix the magic in. In The Tempest, for instance, the plot is the tired old story about a nobleman, bilked of his estates, who takes refuge on a distant island, and mild revenge on his enemies when they are shipwrecked there. Yet in this common vessel, Shakespeare stirred a wizard's brew of steaming language and the rich juice of 30 years' experience; the mixture mulled, at...

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