Books: The Pure in Heart

THE HUMAN COMEDY — William Saroyan—Harcourt, Brace ($2.75).

A lot of people have wondered whether William Saroyan had it in him to write a whole, continuous novel. The Human Comedy, though it inevitably leaves its grandiloquent title looking like a half-inflated blimp, is a very nice novel indeed. It is, unfortunately, too nice to be as good, as it might have been if Saroyan were capable not only of goodness but of a concern with evil.

The Human Comedy is the story of a happy family in a small town in wartime. It is William...

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