Notable: THE CAMERONS

by ROBERT CRICHTON

509 pages. Knopf. $7.95.

Fashionable French film directors (Rohmer, Truffaut) are now busily reinventing the 19th century novel of feeling for cinema audiences, who, it sometimes seems, no longer read. One can hardly blame Robert Crichton, therefore, if he puts between hard covers the makings of one of those harrowing, heartwarming 1930s film sagas that used to star Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, attractively but thinly disguised as proletarians on the rise. The time is turn of the century; the place, a Scottish coalpit town complete with oppressed miners, strikes and lockouts, an unfeeling owner and a bloody-minded mine...

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