Books: The Horrible Hatfields

THE TREND Is UP (474 pp.)—Anthony West—Random House ($4.95).

Manhattan's literary sundowners, who read book reviews far more avidly than books, rate The New Yorker book critic Anthony West as a man with a high IQ—or Irritant Quotient. As critic. West insists on the old-fashioned but admirable principle that moral judgments can and should be made about books; as author, West moralizes, but in doing so, he ignores the first rule of Shavian dialectics: to edify, one must entertain.

In The Trend Is Up, West has written a modern immorality play about the allegorical...

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