Books: A Diamond in the Fluff

WILLY REMEMBERS by Irvin Faust. 249 pages. Arbor House. $6.95.

Anyone who has read Irvin Faust's short stories and novels knows how this former high school guidance counselor tenderizes human defect and deficiency. Faust's best characters, the Puerto Rican janitor in Roar Lion Roar, the questing professor in The Steagle, the transistor-radio addict in Philco Baby, are consumed by a world of mass-produced trivia and popular mythology.

They generate authentic obsessions about the inauthentic.

The things that go through the head of Willy T. Kleinhans, a 93-year-old Spanish-American War veteran, are typically Faustian. From the limbo of an old soldiers' home, Willy recalls a...

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