Joseph Barry is a Paris-based reporter and this is his third book (Left Bank, Right Bank; France) which seems to have been rather scrappily assembled from columns, interviews, impressions, etc. Actually it's something of a compote. You'll meet Maurice Girodias whose Olympia Press was shut down in a Paris more prudish than the U.S. (Mme. de Gaulle seems to have exerted a repressive influence); or Simone Signoret, unembarrassed when asked about Yves Montaud's diversion with Marilyn Monroe; or mourn Kennedy and Camus. Most of the pieces are personality-oriented and spotlit with remarks and rejoinders--Chanel, Anouih, Belmondo, Sartre and de Beanvoir, Malraux, Baldwin, Mary McCarthy, etc. etc. A number of essays deal with de Gaulle and the Algerian situation; there's a little food, a little libertinage (we like the husband who is morally sans reproche- ""I have never deceived her outside of office hours""), a little everything; it's a kind of glossy chitchat for the neo-sophisticate.