Books: Ferber Fundamentals

GREAT SON—Edna Ferber—Doubleday, Doran ($2.50).

If, as Edna Ferber once remarked, "writing a novel is like plodding along a dirt road ankle deep in mud," she is easily one of the world's most determined plodders. So Big, Show Boat, Cimarron, American Beauty, Come and Get It and Saratoga Trunk have established her as a writer who is apparently unable to produce either a disappointing or a startling book. Great Son, though less strongly plotted than its predecessors, is the dependable Ferber brand of slickly written, cinemadaptable Americana.

King & Matriarch. Author Ferber manipulates her...

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