Books: A Study in Nihilism

THE END OF THE ROAD (230 pp.)—John Barfh—Doubleday ($3.95).

"Where the hell else but in America could you have a cheerful nihilism?" asks a leading character in this highly diverting book, which is a comedy with a tragic ending and, occasionally, a farce with a philosophical meaning. The character who asks the question is Joe Morgan, a history teacher at Wicomico State Teachers College, who has taught himself to "say good-by to objective values." He believes that energy is "what makes the difference between American pragmatism and French existentialism."

Joe has energy all right;...

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