Books: Chivalry Is Dead

ARTHUR REX:

A LEGENDARY NOVEL

by Thomas Berger Delacorte;

499 pages; $10.95

The legends of King Arthur are a natural subject for novelists. T.H. White produced an eloquent contemporary version in The Once and Future King, and only two years ago, the late John Steinbeck's dull but competent retelling of Le Morte d'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory's 15th century compilation, was published. Now Thomas Berger offers still another rex redux, in the form of "a legendary novel." He might have done better to call it a haphazard parody.

In his earlier novels, Berger proved himself a...

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