Books: Double Ascension

THE TRANSIENTS—Mark Van Doren— Morrow ($2.50).

Mark Van Doren, of the literary Van Dorens (Sister-in-law Irita is editor of the Herald Tribune Books; Brother Carl is chief editor of the Literary Guild), is a poet. Though he is 40, The Transients is his first novel. In self-consciously dignified prose he tells a poetic parable.

John Bole was spending ten days in jail in a small, law-abiding town because he had solicited a passing car for a lift. But John Bole was no common hitchhiker. On the jailer and the jailer's wife he made a...

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