Books: Adrift in a Laundromat

THE TENTS OF WICKEDNESS (276 pp.)—Peter De Vries—Little, Brown ($3.75).

Peter De Vries had a lunch date in Manhattan recently with visiting British Novelist Kingsley Amis. De Vries spared no effort to round up a third for lunch, his New Yorker colleague, E. B. ("Andy"') White. The anticipated lunatic-fringe benefit: De Vries would breeze home to Westport, Conn, and tell his wife: "I had lunch today with Amis and Andy."

As it happened, the lunch never came off. and De Vries, like a character in one of his novels (Comfort Me with Apples, The...

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