Books: The French & Everyone

THE HORRORS OF LOVE by Jean Dutourd. 665 pages. Doubleday. $6.95.

Though abused tourists may think otherwise, the country about which Frenchmen are most venomous is France. It is virtually the one Gallic tradition that Jean Dutourd truly respects. Both in fiction (A Dog's Head) and in nonfiction (The Taxis of the Marne), he has shown himself an accomplished satirical duelist and a sardonic chronicler of French middle-class life.

The Horrors of Love is an often ridiculous, sometimes funny tale of a middle-aged member of the French Chamber of Deputies who becomes tragically involved with his young mistress. At first glance, the...

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