Books: Reaching for Manhood

CAUGHT IN THAT MUSIC by Seymour Epstein. 307 pages. Viking. $5.95.

All too often, a novel of distinction gets lost in the munching, crunching echoes of promotion and ballyhoo. It would be a shame if such were to be the case with this book, which looks like the sleeper of the season.

The story is soberly but evocatively set in middle-class New York City in the late 1930s—when double-decker buses still charged up Fifth Avenue and Danish pastry was as big as fielders' gloves; when the words "new" and "guild" and "theater" and "group" and "league" were always appearing in histrionic combinations on...

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