Books: Empty Circles

IN ORBIT by Wright Morris. 153 pages. New American Library. $3.95.

In his 14th novel, Wright Morris recounts a day's events in a small Indiana town just before a twister hits. As a slice of life, the book is thin indeed, and coming from Morris (The Field of Vision, Love Among the Cannibals), it is exasperating. The familiar elements are there: the pointless plot, the Twain tone of Midwest innocence and irony, the fey and the freak who get caught up in the drama. Morris has used them all before, often to great comic effect....

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