Books: Summer Reading

Mysterious or comic, historical or touching, a seasonal sampler of fine fiction

BICYCLE DAYS

by John Burnham Schwartz

Summit; 253 pages; $18.95

Absent father. Melancholy mom. Squall-free adolescence followed by the ritual college degree. But with no draft to face -- no obligations at all, really -- how is a bright, sensitive, well-off young fellow to grow up? Honoring tradition, Alec Stern decides to go abroad to try out maturity. His destination: Tokyo. Bicycle Days, a first novel by a 24-year-old Harvard graduate, is the wry, rueful story of Alec's efforts to cope with his job at a computer outfit and with a vexing foreign culture. Through his adoptive family, the friendship of...

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