Books: Storyteller's Story

EMBEZZLED HEAVEN—Franz Werfel—Viking ($2.50).

Few readers, insists Professor Mortimer Jerome Adler, know How to Read a Book. Equally important fact: few writers know how to tell a story. Story-weaving is a craft old as flax-weaving, decorative as peasant embroidery, difficult as silversmithing. Thus old tales like The Thousand and One Nights, the fabliaux, The Canterbury Tales, the Grimms' folk stories have a magic rarely found in latter ages. That this magic is less a patina than the product of skill and feeling is shown by the occasional appearance of a real storyteller's story. Such is Franz Werfel's Embezzled Heaven.

Like Chaucer and Somerset...

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