Books: Candide Keaton

BALLOONS ARE AVAILABLE by Jordan Critfenden. 180 pages. Afheneum. $4.50.

The only cumbrous thing about this novel is the title, borrowed from some lines by W. H. Auden. Otherwise, Balloons Are Available is lighter than air and easily dirigible toward its comic purpose. The hero, who progresses from repairman to executive vice president, is named Howard Ormsby. Part Candide, part Buster Keaton, he is loosed in a land where every pratfall is followed by a commercial. Author Crittenden's best effects are gained through a sort of contrapuntal dialogue. One of Howard's loves tells him the story of her life, including the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!