THE BOARDERS IN THE RUE MADAME by Hallie Burnett

THE BOARDERS IN THE RUE MADAME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hallie Burnett is the author of the recent Watch on the Wall and other novels. This is a collection of short stories, including three novellas. All are set in France -- Paris, Burgundy, Normandy, and concern American tourists who are connected in one way or another with a Left Bank pension where their situations mainly originate. At the Pension du Coeur are to be found the professors, vacationing or on sabbatical; their wives; the women alone looking for a little adventure; the students; and various men on the prowl. The stories are technically smooth and one cannot find fault with the author's attitude toward her characters: she is mindful of their faults, indulgent of their weaknesses and does not insist that there is anything very special about them or their circumstances. But the stories are just not very interesting. There are a couple of exceptions: The Thief on the Champs Elysees in which the narrator insists that her passport has been stolen by a thief who looks suspiciously like herself; Schenectady Yawns Before Us, whose title is partly self-explanatory; and Summer of a Dead Hero which is more ambitious but finally just a retread of an adolescent's initiation into ""life."" For the rest, the plots are pat and predictable where they are not banal and the author's good will and ""understanding"" does not sufficiently relieve the boredom.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1966
Publisher: Morrow