Books: Goodbye, Mr. Clean


by ROBERT LIPSYTE 287 pages. Simon & Schuster. $7.95.

One of the few things to rival the inflation rate is the rising paranoia index. Need anyone be reminded of the fears and confusions that hang over from recent assassinations, wars and political scandals? It is a time that has caused —if not an actual power vacuum—at least an intense low-pressure area that readily attracts conspiracy theorists, occult mongers and alert topical novelists like Robert Lipsyte.

Lipsyte, a former sports columnist who contributed some of the best prose to appear in the New York...

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