Books: Old Men of the Sea

THE MAGIC BARREL (214 pp.)—Bernard Malamud—Farrar, Straus & Cudahy ($3.75).

In taking the Old Man of the Sea upon his shoulders, Sindbad the Sailor thought he was merely performing a small favor. But once the Old Man's legs were locked about his neck, Sindbad seemed doomed to carry his burden forever. This theme, that one good turn deserves another, and another and another, runs like a magic thread through nearly half the 13 short stories in this new book by Bernard Malamud, 44, an assistant professor of English at Oregon State College whose The...

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