Books: Prize Heel

A HERO OF OUR TIME (211 pp.)—Vasco Pratolini—Prentice Hall ($3).

Sandrino Verges! was on the lookout for the ideal woman. For an angel-faced Italian youngster of 16, his tastes were rather special. "First she resists, and then she lets you gradually kill her, bit by bit . . . I want the feeling of having something that defends itself and that you slowly crush and crush and crush until the life's crushed out of it." In the next room to his, sharing the same grubby apartment house, Sandrino finds someone to his sadistic little heart's desire.

Virginia is a lonely widow with...

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