Books: Universal Heel

RADITZER (152 pp.) — Peter Matthiessen—Viking ($3).

Any serviceman will recognize Raditzer. There is one in every outfit—the sniveling, creepy little muckup who not only fails to pull his weight but manages to add it to the load carried by others. In his third novel, Author Peter Matthiessen, 33, has pinned him to the page as the prototype of the heel who arouses disgust in better men but touches off something uneasily protective in the best of them.

When the U.S.S. General Pendleton sails from San Francisco in 1944, Raditzer is aboard. So is Charlie...

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