Books: British Funhouse

THE DARLING BUDS OF MAY (219 pp.) -H. E. Bates -Atlantic -Little, Brown ($3.75).

" 'Larkin. that's me,' Pop said . . . 'Larkin by name. Larkin by nature. What can I do for you? Nice wevver.'

" 'I'm from the office of the Inspector of Taxes.'

"Pop stood blank and innocent, staggered by the very existence of such a person.

" 'Inspector of what?'

' 'Taxes. Inland Revenue.' ' 'You must have come to the wrong house.' Pop said."

Tax collectors and plain readers of The Darling Buds of May must respectfully disagree with Pop. The story of how Cedric, the tax man, stays for...

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