Books: The Step Beyond Failure

PRETTY TALES FOR TIRED PEOPLE by Martha Gel/horn. 221 pages. Simon & Schuster. $4.50.

Some of the best of people seem to lead the sorriest of lives; but failure can be a possible preface to maturity. This is the theme developed with witty grace in these three long short stories.

Each in its way makes a contrast between worldly and moral achievement. In A Promising Career, an inhumanly professional bachelor pursues his ambitions until his mistress, a Venus' fly trap passing as a violet, involves him in a scandal, ruins his career, sees him exiled to Ghana, where he hits the bottle, hits...

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