Books: The Trouble of One House

THE COBWEB (369 pp.)—William Gibson—Knopf ($3.95).

The publishers of The Cobweb have sent it into the world with a stout advertising and promotion budget and the advance assurance to bookdealers that it is "an absorbing, down-to-earth novel about real people responding to the real stuff of everyday human experience." The book may sell well, at that. A first novel by Massachusetts' William Gibson, it sticks to the oldest rule in soap opera: it gets its characters in trouble and keeps them there.

A good deal of the trouble in The Cobweb is readymade, since the...

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