Books: Southern Adolescence

THE GOLDEN LIE (279 pp.)—Thomas Hal Phillips—Rinehart ($3).

Thomas Hal Phillips is a novelist, a Southerner, and 28. There stops all resemblance between Phillips and the decay-under-the-magnolias school of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Speed Lamkin. The South of Novelist Phillips, like the South of reality, is composed of ordinary people, good & bad, with the same feelings and frustrations as people anywhere else. His characters are no more decadent and perverse than folks in Idaho or Kansas, even though life does unroll with some regional twists.

The Golden Lie is the story of 16-year-old Foster Lloyd's growing up in Mississippi. Foster worships...

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