Books: French Canvas

AMELIE AND PIERRE (338 pp.)—Henri Troyat—Simon & Schuster ($4.50).

To some French writers the production of novels is like the eating of salted almonds—they just cannot stop. Balzac turned out 17 volumes in compiling his Comédie Humaine, which pinned down 19th century life. Jules Remains, in his Hommes de Bonne Volonte, needed 27 books just to span the years from the eve of World War I to the eve of World War II. Author Troyat, 46, is trying hard to fit his stride to those giant footsteps: this book is the second of a series...

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