Books: The Affluent Society

PURSUIT OF THE PRODIGAL (292 pp.)—Louis Auchincloss—Houghton Mifflin ($3.75).

Lawyer Reese Parmelee is rich, wellborn, intelligent, young, tall and thewed like an ox. He is fearsome in war and agile in the boudoir. He is, in fact, cast from the same heroic mold as George Washington's bronze horse, and his problems, one would think, could hardly be more trying than shooing away the pigeons of circumstance—tax collectors, importunate beauties, photographers wanting to capture his grandeur in whisky ads. Yet Parmelee broods, and it is a credit to the author that readers are persuaded to take it seriously.

The novel upturns sociology; young Parmelee...

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