TANTRIC MASSAGE FOR MR. BLAND

ANITA BROOKNER TAKES A DROLL LOOK AT A LOVER'S CON GAME

BRITISH NOVELIST ANITA BROOKNER'S 12th book comes as a welcome surprise-just when it looked as if she had settled into Barbara Pym's world of lonely females without Pym's wit and trenchant insight into character. Written from the point of view of a just retired bachelor businessman, George Bland, who becomes enthralled with a heedless, scheming young woman, A Private View (Random House; 242 pages; $23) is not only wise but funny.

Katy Gibb is one of the better comic creations to come along in recent fiction, a moody, slovenly girl whose main weapon in life's wars is a brazen will. Bland,...

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