The Little People

MacDonald Harris, Author William Morrow & Company $0 (299p) ISBN 978-0-688-06132-6
As long as he is chaste, young Bonner Foley can cavort in the Pense Coombe woods with fairy creatures, supping milk and honey while they sing to him from ""Kublai Khan.'' Bonner, an American medievalist who is repeatedly described as ``not well,'' comes upon the little people when visiting American friends and their two pretty daughters on their English country estate. Bonner comes to know the daughtersethereal Sylvie, a pianist, and sexy model Stashamarries Sylvie, writes a book on early anchoresses, and sleeps with Stasha, until a hideous punishment befalls her. Harris's characters suffer from stereotyping, notably the sisters, with their spirit/flesh division, and their mother, Tita, depicted as an ``aging nymphomaniac'' who exudes a ``menopausal sexuality.'' Harris's 12th novel (The Ballonist, Yukiko) is full of antiquarian curiositiesabout sarsen stones, Herne the Hunter and other mattersbut these seem appended, rather than convincingly integrated. Some mysterious phenomena are effectively handled, such as Bonner's psychic combat with iron, but the scenes with the fairies are lightweight and, indeed, mundane. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo. Foreign rights: Virginia Barber. February 26
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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