POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE (308 pp.)Noel Coward Doubleday ($4.50).
Noel Coward once hymned a certain Poor Uncle Harry, who wanted to be a missionary and who sailed to the South Seas. "The natives," Coward's saga went,
. . . greeted him kindly, and invited
him to dine
On yams and hams and human hands
and vintage cocoanut wine,
The taste of which was filthy, but the
after-effects divine . . . Uncle Harry's not a missionary now.
Coward returns to Harry's wicked island, or one just like it, in what turns out to be, surprisingly enough, this all-round entertainer's first novel, written at 60. Years have passed,...