Books: No Exit

SAVILLE by David Storey

Harper & Row; 506 pages; $10

Young Colin Saville does well in his "eleven-plus" exam, wins the scholarship to a prestigious grammar school and is considered to be university material. The time is just after World War II, and the English educational system has begun its shift from the old-boy network to the creation of a meritocracy. Like D.H. Lawrence's characters in Sons and Lovers, Colin's father is abraded by a life in the coal pits, and his mother by poverty and sickness, but there seems to be no limit to what the boy can achieve.

By his early...

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