Books: Pintpot Pan

THE LIFE OF DYLAN THOMAS by Constantihe FitzGibbon. 370 pages. Atlantic-Little, Brown. $7.95.

"Is the bloody man dead yet?" cried the distraught wife of Dylan Thomas as she rushed into a Manhattan hospital where the poet lay stricken with a "massive alcoholic insult to the brain." The answer is no. Twelve years after his death, even people who think poetry is what appears on greeting cards have heard the legend that the wild Welsh wonderboy was the greatest lush, lecher, and lyric poet produced in this century by the English-speaking world.

In this careful...

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