Books: Greek in the Heather

LAXDALE HALL (301 pp.)—Eric Linklater—Harcourt, Brace ($3.50).

Why is a Labor M.P. crouching naked in a willow tree, with 40 Scottish housewives prancing below and screeching: "Come doon, ye mangy tod, and I'll buff your beef!"? Why does a stern Presbyterian minister stand by waving a two-handed sword and bellowing: "There is a harvest still, a harvest of thistles and of tares, for the sword of Gideon!"?

Eric Linklater, in whose latest novel these uncommon scenes appear, explains with grinning relish. A Scotsman to the brisket, Linklater believes that English M.P.s have treated his native land so stingily that it is time they...

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