Books: Sex for Three

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD—Patrick White—Viking ($2.50).

The general theme of Australian Patrick White's novel is that the living and the dead are sworn enemies, that the archenemies of living hope are the indifferent, "the stultifying, the living dead." This fervently stated theme is worked out too intricately in personal terms to make much general sense. But the work-out is an uncommonly searching and sordid study of three middleclass, pre-war Britons.

They are Mrs. Catherine Standish, her son Elyot and her daughter Eden. Elyot, as the blurb says, "represents death," Eden "struggles up to...

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