Books: Lost: Another Generation

THE COURTS OF MEMORY (507 pp.)—Frank Rooney—Vanguard ($3.95).

The Courts of Memory sits its characters down at the banquet board of life, and gradually changes it into an operating table. Written by a 40-year-old short-story writer named Frank Rooney, it is among the year's best first novels—until it bogs down in psychological probings. Author Rooney's two basic themes: 1) parents v. children; 2) the lost and/or silent generation in search of a code to live by.

Bracing Brother. In 1932 the Griffins are a well-to-do Los Angeles family, so close that no member breathes except through the smothering palm of another. Father Griffin,...

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