Books: Education of Luc Martin

THE COMPANY OF MEN (248 pp.)—Romain Gary—Simon & Schuster ($3 and $1).

"What's going to happen to me, if you are killed?" young Luc Martin asked his father, a fighter in the French Maquis. "You'll still have all the other men," his father, said.

But after the Liberation, orphaned 14-year-old Luc finds "the other men" an uneven lot. His first guardian turns out to be a professional hijacker. Then Luc becomes a ward of the nation, speedily finds that the nation is not much interested in what happens to the sons of heroes. From the cold cup of state charity Luc turns...