Books: Heap o' writin'

A SIMPLE, HONORABLE MAN (309 pp.) —Conrad Richter— Knopf ($4.50).

The names in this novel seem to have come from unpretentious rural tomb stones, the thin sandstone kind that a man could carry under one arm : Lizzie Yoh, Theodosia Garrison, Phrany Luck-enbill, Lutie Markle, Jake Loy. Palmyra Scarlett, Seranus Mast. They live in towns like Jacob's and Unionville in Pennsylvania's Vale of Union, or up in the mining patches at Mahanoy near the Tulpehocken Trail. The prose is as homely as a bag of snitz. Some people get their dutch up, others are as meek as Moses. They eat victuals, marry...

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