Apart from the title, Harry Boyle's reminiscences have about as much in common with Mary McCarthy's as chalk has with cheese -- to use the kind of homey comparison that he's inclined to favor. Whereas one of the chief attractions of McCarthy's work was her capacity for telling tales out of school, Boyle's Memories. . .have more to do with fond recollections, even of hardships, and nostalgia for a very simple kind of life. Harry Boyle was born in 1916 and spent part of his youth on a farm in a western Ontario valley not far from the border. He went to a one-room schoolhouse and attended high school in a town so distant from home that he had to live in a boarding home. After graduation in 1931, despite his pious mother's efforts to push him into a seminary (in a time of deprivation it was one way of insuring an education -- and a livelihood), Boyle enrolled at St. Gerald's in New Gordon, which he describes as ""a reform school for rich kids and a refuge for poor ones."" There was to be only one year at St. Gerald's, however, for his family moved from the farm to a store that was not doing too well and Boyle had to go to work. He was sustained by his continuous writing and by the occasional brushes he had with sensitive teachers at college and by the sentimental memories of a country boy. He has written six previous books.