Books: Return of Peter Pun

THROUGH THE FIELDS OF CLOVER (275 pp.) — Peter De Vries — Little, Brown ($3.95).

Village blacksmiths are a dying breed, and so any village that still has one is obliged to direct tourists pridefully to his shop, even if he is not particularly good at making horseshoes. Something of the sort obtains with jokesmiths; not many comic novelists are left, and not many of these are very funny. Peter De Vries, perhaps the best of the lot, is often proudly accused of causing his readers to damage themselves with violent laughter, but in this book, at least, he is not guilty.

The...

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