Books: The Long Sleep

HERCULANEUM by Joseph Jay Deiss. 174 pages. Thomas Y. Crowell. $6.95.

In the furnace room of Herculane-um's suburban baths, the cordwood is stacked, ready to fuel a fire that has been cold for nearly 20 centuries. On the wall of a snack bar, some graffito artist has daubed a phallus and the words MA(N)SVETA TENE (Handle with Care). In a cereal and wine shop, jars brimful of beans and, chickpeas await the next customer. At a street crossing, the inscription on a pillar warns litterbugs that they can be jailed or fined.

Time to Flee....

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