Books: Also Current: Oct. 23, 1964

SPEAK NOT EVIL by Edwin Lanham. 591 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $5.95.

Grubbing into the lives of small-town sexual delinquents of all ages has been a tempting novelistic idea ever since Peyton Place. Lanham adds an overlay of Big Ideas (religion, tradition, history) but is careful to provide the full familiar stock company: the nymphomaniac who gives strip parties and records the livelier moments on Polaroid film, the budding teen-age sexpot, the aging Don Juan, the middle-aged mother who has never responded to a man, the impotent bridegroom, the spinster who had an abortion in her youth. At one point the...

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