Life is a comedy, a carnival, and all of us wear masks. So Compton Mackenzie would have us feel, if we can judge from the spirit of his "Carnival," a story hailed by the New York Times as "about the best novel published this season." The central figure of the book is Jenny, a cockney ballet-girl, who shows herself a true daughter of the carnival, a Columbine in actuality. At her birth the fairies had endowed her with the gift of rhythm. "She had deliciously slim legs and a figure as lithe as a hazel wand. Her almond eyes were of some fantastic shade of sapphire blue with deep gray twilights in them and sea-green laughter."