Books: Man's Last Chance

THE SQUARE PEGS (328 pp.)—Irving Wallace—Knopf ($5).

"They drew all manner of things—everything that begins with an M—" "Why with an M?" said Alice. "Why not?" said the March Hare.

Irving (The Fabulous Originals) Wallace uses these lines from Alice in Wonderland as foreword to his studies of nine Americans of the March hare species. Wallace's fondness for just-this-side-of-the-nuthouse characters began in adolescence, when Wilbur Glenn Voliva, onetime high prophet of Zion City, Ill., personally assured him that the earth was shaped like a saucer and the sky ''a solid dome." Wallace concedes that...

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