Books: Quite High on a Mountaintop

THE OASIS (181 pp.)_Mary McCarthy —Random House ($2).

Honest Joe Lockman was distressed when he discovered that his destination, Utopia, wasn't marked on his Socony Automobile Guide. But Joe enjoyed a good gag, and when he checked up on the mysterious region he was tickled to find that it derived from the Greek ou (not) and topos (a place).

"Notaplace, get it?" he chuckled to his wife Eva—though with a sinking heart, because he knew that poor Eva, whose life depended on a well-ordered battery of labor-saving devices, was probably not going to relish the simple life of Utopia one bit. Only what...

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