Books: A Habitable Hell

THE BARBARY LIGHT by P. H. Newby. 286 pages. Lippincott. $3.95.

At 40, Owen Hanner has it made. Weekdays—or, more accurately, nights —he is petted in London by his charming brunette mistress Alex. Weekends, he travels down to Oxfordshire to be sedately worshiped by his handsome blonde wife Sybil. When not playing house with his unsuspecting ladies, Owen lives dangerously in the business world. A topflight accountant specializing in bank foreclosures, he has devised an unethical but within-the-law gimmick that adds pounds and pounds to his income.

Sexless Harem. Then one unfortunate day, Owen has an impulse toward candor and tells his mistress...

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