Books: Last of the Leftists?

Last of the Leftists? BARBARY SHORE (312 pp.)—Norman Mailer—Rinehart ($3).

Norman Mailer has a bad case of moral claustrophobia. Viewed through his polarizing spectacles, all the dice are loaded, all the cards are marked, all the wheels are rigged. All the world's a cage, and all its men & women merely slayers. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, had enough of the juice of life to disguise this sophomoric fatalism. The only juice in Barbary Shore is embalming fluid.

Author Mailer's new novel is hauled from the literary graveyard of the '30s, when "social consciousness" was in vogue. Like other books...