Books: Neighborhood Novelist

NO STAR IS LOST—James T. Farrell—Vanguard ($3).

Few regions in the U. S. have been as carefully described as the narrow rectangle of Chicago streets that lies between 25th and 71st Streets, between Wabash and Stony Island Avenues. Born there 34 years ago, James Thomas Farrell has made it the scene of five long novels, including his 1,108-page trilogy, Studs Lonigan, has harped steadily on the fights and brawls that have raged on its vacant lots, in its schoolyards and alleys, in its schoolrooms, poolrooms, bedrooms and parlors.

The unblinking realism of Farrell's pictures of lower-class life made critics overlook their monotony, their...