Books: Black Mischief

AT FEVER PITCH (255 pp.)—David Caute—Pantheon ($3.95).

For obvious reasons, British writers are tops when it comes to describing disintegrating empires. To do the job properly, especially in fiction, there is needed a sense of irony, a sense of loss and a sense of relief. Young (25) Novelist David Caute mixes these qualities with the authority derived from his background: he was born in Egypt, the son of a British soldier, and when he reached gun-bearing age, he served in the Gold Coast Regiment in Takoradi (Ghana), getting a good look at both British and French West Africa. The central character...

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