Books: There Is No Importance

WAIT FOR TOMORROW (408 pp.)—Robert Wilder—Putnam ($3.50).

It is not often that a book can be judged by its cover, but in the case of Wait for Tomorrow the publishers have made it almost easy. In the right foreground, out of a Dali-type desert, rises a stack of 85 gold coins. A kingly crown lies in the sand nearby, and a derelict liquor bottle dribbles into oblivion. In the distance a ridge of bloody mounds bars the way to a paradisiacal grove of cloud-pink skyscrapers.

With that information, any good guesser who had read a couple of Robert Wilder's previous bestsellers (Flamingo Road,...