Books: Of Yo-Yos & Other Magic

STOP-TIME by Frank Conroy. 304 pages. Viking. $5.95.

"Like most children," writes Frank Conroy in this precocious autobiography, "I was anti-sentimental and quick to hear false notes."

With little sentimentality and few false notes, Conroy, now 31 and a freelance writer, describes a kind of Huck Finn-Holden Caulfield boyhood and coming of age in Florida, Connecticut and Manhattan, in the midst of a rather eccentric family. It is the most obvious of themes, but Conroy brings it off remarkably well, with an almost archaic narrative skill.

In the scrubby wilds near Fort Lauderdale, he wanders...

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