Books: Scatterfield Gang

Compared with the tough kids of contemporary fiction, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were cherubs. But the contrast is more apparent than real; portrayed with James Farrell's pimpled candor, Huck Finn would undoubtedly be just as taboo for adolescent libraries as Studs Lonigan. Well aware of this fact are grownups who grew up in Midwest small towns. But few of them have admitted as much in print.

Inn of That Journey (Caxton, $2.50), the first novel of a 36-year-old Ohioan named Emerson Price, is a sample of such realism—a transcript of back-alley life, swimming-hole...

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