Books: An Inebriate Of Words

DYLAN THOMAS: A BIOGRAPHY by Paul Ferris Dial; 399 pages; $9.95

There are generations still kicking to whom "good vibes" mean Lionel Hampton, "far out" is the suburbs, and Dylan is Thomas the poet from Wales, not Bob the minstrel from Minnesota. And yet Dylan Thomas would have been as self-destructively at home in the '60s of overdosed pop music stars as he was in his own time, the '30s and '40s of underpaid poets.

The notorious Thomas was a theatrical figure who conformed to the public's concept of the hard-drinking romantic. It was the...

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