Books: Socks Washed in Tears

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? by Gilbert Rogin. 260 pages. Random House. $6.95.

Q. What is Singer trying to tell us?

A. You mean Singer, the anti-hero of Gilbert Rogin's new comic novel, whose wife peeks out shyly from under the closet door while he ponders what his life, if any, may mean?

Q. She doesn't peek, she waggles a finger. And it's not a novel, even if the dust jacket says it is; it's a wadded-up ball of short stories.

A. Well-crafted, however?

Q. Well-wadded, and very funny. But what's Singer up to?

A. He suspects that life matters,...

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