Books: Who Loves a Critic?

MAX JAMISON by Wilfrid Sheed. 260 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $6.50.

People have been known to ask a drama critic what qualifies him for his post. The charitable popular assumption seems to be that this chap once tacked up scenery in summer stock, or directed a college play, or was summarily reassigned from the sports section of his publication during an acute journalistic drought. The less charitable view is that the fellow is a failed playwright who plumps into his opening-night seat on the aisle palsied with envy and gurgling with bile. Percy Hammond, a formidable drama critic of vinegary wit,...

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