Books: Time to Shoot Santa

MAMA I LOVE You (245 pp.)—William Saroyan — Atlantic-Little, Brown ($3.75).

If the collected works of William Saroyan—twelve full-length plays, seven novels and some 1,500 short stories—could be sap-boiled down to a single sentence, it would read, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." In the days of The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, The Time of Your Life and My Name Is Aram, Saroyan brought to this simple message an elfin charm, an infectiously wacky humor, and a flavor of childlike sweetness, as if his tales had been stolen from some happily hidden jam pot of life. But...

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