Perhaps one should go easy on Pritchett; these travel articles, done as Holiday assignments, are certainly superior to the usual glossy junketings. Anyone expecting, however, the Pritchett standard-either of The Spanish Temper or The Living Novel - will be saddened considerably. As for title (the original English edition is called Foreign Faces- more apt), it's quite misleading; nothing in these pages could really offend-no Insulting Insights, no gamy cracks. The book's value lies primarily in its off-beat locales: the Iron Curtain countries, Turkey and Iran, with some nostalgic sidestepping to Madrid and Seville. To them all Pritchett brings his civilized, conversational style, his first-rate descriptive sense; now and then a subtle appraisal is made, a pithy adjective pops up, a panorama decoratively protrudes. Living conditions or customs, politics and the arts, meetings with various representative types-these make up the repertorial route. ""Where does one not hear nowadays,"" asks Pritchett, ""East or West, that the young generation are time-servers and operator?""-and that's a typical observation. For in-depth focusing, Encounters ""From the Other Shore"" series, which have covered Poland, Hungary and so forth, surely seem far more perceptive, and shorter.