Books: Un-lrish Restraint

SETTLED IN CHAMBERS by Honor Tracy. 209 pages. Random House. $4.95.

Honor Tracy resembles a particularly mean Irish longshoreman on strike. Her corner-of-the-mouth wit has the fine rollicking belligerence that keeps everyone within eavesdropping distance of the drunk at the end of the bar. But sure, Honor is a bit of a fraud. The fist she brandishes so threateningly is really papier-mache. Her secret problem is that she is a satirist who faints at the sight of blood. Her seventh novel has all the brilliance of an expertly pulled punch.

The target is a particularly...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!