Books: Summer Fiction

MUMBO JUMBO

by ISHMAEL REED

223 pages. Doubleday. $6.95.

The travesty of minstrelsy was that a white man in black face could get a laugh cheap because anything black was considered funny. Ishmael Reed (The Free-Lance Pall-Bearers) is a black man in white face who doesn't miss a travesty. Anything white or even tan is ripe for his satire.

Reed's targets have been around at bargain prices for some time, but his laughs are not cheap. The outrageousness of his comic vision and the sinister coils of his prose beg comparison with William Burroughs. Survivors...