Books: The Moral Magician

CHILDREN ARE CIVILIANS TOO by Heinrich Boll. 189 pages. McGraw-Hill. $5.95.

It is a rare event when a first collection of short stories can seem as important as a novel. Usually the vision is too fragmented, the style too eclectic, the sense of art mixed with purposes still unaccomplished. Yet between 1947 and 1951, when Heinrich Boll first published these stories in Germany, some critics saw him as the natural heir to the stately mantle of Thomas Mann. Boll had endured World War II. His emergence afterward as a mature writer was encouraging proof...

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