Books: Woodchuck Roundup

THE MARMOT DRIVE (273 pp.)—John Mersey—Knopf ($3.50).

There are still people who think that everything important about a man can be learned while watching him through a few hands of poker. And there have always been novelists who believed that a set of characters would give themselves away dramatically if forced into close, catalytic quarters. Favorite places to bring out the best and worst in people have been ships, planes, hotels, tropic outposts, small combat units, African safaris. It remained for Novelist John (A Bell for Adano, The Wall) Hersey to put his characters to the test in a modern-day woodchuck roundup....

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