Books: Uncle Harry's Isle

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,...

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