Books: Surf Opera

PHOENIX ISLAND (284 pp.)—Leslie Waller—Lippincott ($3.95).

Summer fiction is life seen in bikini-scope. It covers little, and that hazily. Phoenix Island is the hot season's first literary scantyweight, and it is fitfully amusing. The scarcely disguised locale is the New York summer resort of Fire Island, but the cast of psychoneurotic summer people and scurvy natives needs to be taken with a pinch of salt water.

The heroine of this surf opera is 19-year-old Jordan Moore, a button-bright blonde girl who dreams of carving a career niche in the great stone face of...