Books: Death of a Non-Hero

Now AND AT THE HOUR (I 89 pp.)—Robert Cormier—Coward-McCann ($3).

To write well about death is never easy and always dangerous. Words tend to become solemn; compassion blends with sentimental pity; and the reader may easily find himself stirred by nothing stronger than acute discomfort. Tolstoy managed superbly in The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and Flaubert in Madame Bovary. This first novel challenges neither of the masters but shows that modesty and sympathy can be enough to make a death seem both dignified and touching.

In his modest house in a New England factory town,...

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