Books: Curriculum Vitae

THE WAR BETWEEN THE TATES by ALISON LURIE 372 pages. Random House. $6.95.

Nothing is more pleasurable than to sit in the shade, sip gin and contemplate other people's adulteries. While the wormy apple of marriage still lives, the novel will not die. And sure enough, in this summer-weight comedy of hanky-panky in a university town, the apple is a little mushy, but worm and novel are in the best of health.

As Mary McCarthy and Randall Jarrell discovered some time ago, a university is the ideal setting for a comedy of manners. After all, Jesuit seminaries and the U.S. Navy not excepted,...

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