Books: Fine Words

DEATH OF THE FOX by George Garrett. 739 pages. Doubleday. $10.

At around page 500 of this novel about Sir Walter Raleigh's last years, the reader is fending off the fine words with his free hand and shouting "Enough!" And yet ... and yet ... (as Novelist Garrett, whose prose is measled with portentous dots, might write) the gaudy style is grounded in intelligence, and it fits the character and the times. Raleigh, the last Elizabethan, had swagger and intelligence in excess. That being so, it was wise of the author to be liberal; excess...

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