Spring 1969 • Vol. XXXI No. 2 Book Reviews |

Compulsion to Love

Collected Stories : I by Muriel Spark. Alfred A. Knopf, $6.95. Nobody could ever accuse Muriel Spark of being afraid to take risks. Yet some of these stories, unfettered, arresting even when showy, illustrate one hazard in the path of any conjurer who also happens to possess a religious sense. When an author is superbly adept at camouflaging phantoms as flesh, it becomes tempting to settle for sorcery instead of persisting on the trail of that most stealthy of escape artists, a human being. It is chiefly when marvels eclipse personality that Miss Spark's brisk, indeed sardonic, tempter takes command. At such moments the voice of Saki drifts sotto voce from the wings. In "Miss Pinkerton's Apocalypse," an antique dealer and her middle-aged companion are visited by a small flying object, and they differ sharply about its exact age and mission. Miss Pinkerton even describes the pilot. The fun relies as much on verbal misunderstanding as it does on watching a magician who hoodwin

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