Books: Identical Twins, Uncommon Men

ON THE BLACK HILL by Bruce Chatwin; Viking; 249 pages; $14.75

With his first two books, English Author Bruce Chatwin revealed a flair for the exotic and unexpected. In Patagonia (1978) conducted a guided tour through a remote, forlorn region of South America. The Viceroy of Ouidah (1980) took an imaginative leap in time and space back to the flourishing days of the West African slave trade. Given these performances and the critical praise they received, Chatwin's third book (and second novel) seems more surprising still. On the Black Hill has nothing at all to do with wanderlust or faraway places; it...

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