Books: Soup Opera

THE BIRDS AND THE BEES (244 pp ) James Aswell—Rinehart ($3).

A rung or so below the problem novel on fiction's ladder stands the predicament novel. This type of fiction might also be called soup opera, since the hero or heroine usually gets in the soup in the first chapter and doesn't get out till the last. Soup-opera books have a further important characteristic: after modest-sized editions in hard covers, they go quickly into huge editions in paperback—and become the reading of millions. The Birds and the Bees by James Aswell is a typical sample of the species.

Novelist Aswell's heroine,...

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