Books: Drawing-Room Spider

THE HOUSE OF GAIR (251 pp.)−Eric Linklafer−Harcourf, Brace ($3.50).

The moor−English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish−is a scarred old playing field of English letters. It shows up again in Eric Linklater's entertaining new novel, The House of Gair, but only as a chilly device to drive the characters indoors. Indoors means, of course, the one and only house on the moor, with its hint of doomsday mysteries. But the real specialty of The House of Gair is light comedy, not heavy breathing.

Stranded far from town, Stephen Coryat, a writer, accepts a gracious offer to spend the night at the House of Gair, a...

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