Books: Return of a Hero

MR. FRANK MERRIWELL—Gilbert Patten—Alliance ($2).

There has probably never been a literary reincarnation like this. To U.S. men of draft age, Frank Merriwell is a vague synonym for a ninth-inning home run or a last-minute touchdown. But to an older generation, he was as vividly real a person as Superman or Tarzan is to youngsters today. Gilbert Patten, under the pseudonym of "Burt L. Standish," wrote the first Merriwell book in 1896, kept on writing at the rate of 20,000 or more words a week for nearly 20 years. Insatiably, week after week, legions...

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