Books: Moving North

THE NEXT NEW WORLD

by Bob Shacochis

Crown; 209 pages; $16.95

In Easy in the Islands (1985), Bob Shacochis proved he could spin colorful tales about life, chiefly low, in the Caribbean. His exotic settings and laid- back prose won critical praise and an American Book Award for a first book of fiction. He might be excused for trying to repeat his earlier success, but that turns out not to be necessary. Only two of the eight stories in The Next New World take place on tropical islands, and while perfectly fine, they are not the best things in this collection....

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