Books: Priestley in Wonderland

MIDNIGHT ON THE DESERT—J. B. Priestley—Harper ($3).

Wintering with his household of nine on an Arizona ranch last year, Novelist Priestley spent an intensely ruminative 20 minutes one midnight in his writing shack analyzing himself, his U. S. travels, his possible travels in the Hereafter. His conclusions, considerably expanded and set down in Midnight on the Desert, show the familiar Priestley discursiveness, less of his easy-going humor than usual and a not-always recognizable U. S. On that night he felt like "a half-starved little coyote . . . howling to the stars."

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