Books: Grapes Without Wrath

THE FRUIT TRAMP (247 pp.)—Vinnie Williams—Harper ($3.50).

Raffish characters and an offbeat setting can sometimes save a novel. This is what happens in The Fruit Tramp, a warm-hearted little first book about itinerant fruit and vegetable pickers who traipse along with the harvests. The orphaned hero, Polk Watson, leaves a Georgia farm to hit the picker's trail with his Uncle Chunk, a shrewd, garrulous, gallused cracker who proves to the hilt Author Williams' observation that "no picking machine invented can cup and coax a tomato free like the human hand." Polk grows up in a seedy world of depressing boarding houses, trailer...

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