Books: Father & Son

THE YOUNG MAY MOON (320 pp.)—P. H. Newby—Knopf ($3).

At a time when U.S. literary pickings are pretty thin, a steady trickle of good fiction keeps coming from Britain. With some notable exceptions, e.g., Graham Greene's theological thrillers and Joyce Gary's lusty picaresques, much of the British work seems remarkably alike in its strengths and weaknesses. Typically, it deals with delicate crises in the lives of ordinary folk, it rocks along with a suggestion of kindly irony, and it is written with a high polish that U.S. writers never achieve. But it also seems determinedly unambitious, self-consciously shy of mystery or passion.

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