THE FENCE by Jan Balet


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The international tale of the rich man who took the poor man to court for stealing a few whiffs of his food (whereupon the poor man paid him back by jingling a few coins) is here set in contemporary Mexico where the plazas are picturesque, the decor is decorative, the senoras and senoritas are olive-skinned, rosy-cheeked madonnas and the men sport expressive mustaches to a man. Except for the nabob's wife, a sallow flapper with bobbed red hair, and the rich man himself, a supercilious chump in goatee and spats. There's a certain relish in the contrast between the two families (the poor one indistinguishable from all the peasant types pictured) but there's a certain danger in updating the story on the basis of a rather dated ridicule of the rich. Mexico seems to be what you make it; Mr. Balet makes it all pretty funny--as certainly the situation is.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1969
Publisher: Delacorte