Books: When Going Is the Goal

PASSION PLAY by Jerzy Kosinski; St. Martin's Press; 271 pages; $10.95

Jerzy Kosinski's heroes have become dependable literary fixtures, as recognizable as Kafka's K. or Beckett's tramps. Rootless, quixotic, warped by an anti-childhood in Holocaust Europe, they traverse the American landscape like knights-errant on a futile search for purpose.

In Passion Play, Kosinski's seventh novel, the man's name is Fabian. But in essence he is the bloodless Levanter of Blind Date (1977), the vengeful wanderer Tarden of Cockpit (1975) and the haunted boy in Kosinski's first and best fiction, The Painted Bird. Fabian differs...

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