A provocative collection of regional stories set in the pits and fields of a Welsh village. Mr. Davies' villagers fit submissively into the tribal cast -- there are the tired women, loose women, proud men, beaten men, and outcasts of both sexes with a basic concern with sex, beer, gossip, feuds and funerals. There are stories of hardship and despair as in The Two Friends and The Nightgown in which women shriveled with fatigue yearn for a lost paradise. There is also broad fablio humor and shrewd portraits as in Mourning for nto in which the mourners lose their friend's body on the pub-dotted road to the cometery and The Dilemma of Catherine Fuchias, as an amiable kept woman crosses swords with the village. The title story, set in London, tells of a lost mind trying to contact his lost world. Although tragedy is blunted with the irony of the grotesque, and the characters often slip into opera bouffe routine, the writing is sharp and vigorous. Some appeared in the New Yorker.