Books: Wide, Mobile Mouth

THE WEAK AND THE STRONG (209 pp.) —Gerald Kersh—Simon & Schuster ($2.50).

Gerald Kersh, whose promise was considerable, seems determined to become no more than an English-accented historian of the Humphrey Bogart era. The bouncing vitality, rugged prose and well-turned dialogue of such books as Faces in a Dusty Picture and Sergeant Nelson of the Guard have won him a small host of admirers.

But in his new novel, Kersh's characters seem to rattle down on the reader like a hail of dime-store jewelry. They include: Gangster "Big" Brogan ("he wears . . . a ruby not much smaller than a three-volt electric...

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