Books: Never Say Die

THE SUICIDE ACADEMY by Daniel Stern. 173 pages. McGraw-Hill. $5.95.

Outrageous subjects that were once shocking sources of satanic laughter now seem hardly ticklish at all. Black Comedians today tend to be admired like TV gagmen and nightclub acrobats —less for jolt than for sheer agility.

In that class, Daniel Stern, a critic-novelist (After the War, Miss America) long preoccupied with the dusty corners of the modern soul, proves a deft performer. His literary colleague Kurt Vonnegut recently toyed with industrialized suicide (Welcome to the Monkey House), but only as an example of the...

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