Books: Main Street Mame

THE ARISTOCRAT by Conrad Richter. 180 pages. Knopf. $4.50.

Now that he is mellow, fulfilled and nearing 80, Conrad Richter is devoting his fiction more and more to recollections of the kind hearts and sometimes genteel people who lived in the town where he grew up, Pine Grove, Pa. (pop. 2,267). He has written three books about the mores of "Unionville, Pa.," Pine Grove's fictional counterpart, and they are, for the most part, splendidly solid. His latest, alas, is not. The Aristocrat is slender and seemingly self-indulgent. It would be slick as well, were it not for Richter's imperturbable sincerity. He...