A MEMORIAL SERVICE by J. I. M. Stewart

A MEMORIAL SERVICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this third volume of a projected quintet dealing with the ripples of academe, the narrator, playwright Duncan Patullo, returns as a fellow to his college at Oxford, where some of the old acquaintances of the other books reappear. Again the author's witty attention to the inflections of the colloquia results in the reader feeling delightfully privy to the machinations of the inner Oxford. Here both idiosyncratic elders and those of the indeterminate middle years high step around predicaments. The rudely stupid Ivo, son of a Cabinet peer and grandson of another hideous old grad, is not only on the skids academically but has unwittingly fueled the suicide of a law student (The Gaudy, 1975); now his young brother's application for admission is prompting some alarm. Among other commons talk: Ivo's venture into pornographic journalism, ""juvenile politics"" and demonstrations, and that ancient petty larceny of historic papers which in Oxford fashion is still, twenty-five years later, an ongoing event. Among the new faces are two young females and an older woman whom Patullo once loved. A very special pleasure for those who favor donnish donnybrooks.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1976
Publisher: Norton