Books: Laser Instinct

LUST & OTHER STORIES

by Susan Minot

Houghton Mifflin; 147 pages; $16.95

These twelve stories issue up-to-the-minute dispatches from the sexual wars, and the news is not good for either side. The men, selfish and distracted, bolt at the first hint of that dread word, commitment. The women work at being hip and wary but are as overmastered by virility as any Victorian maiden ("With his touch, the will seemed to drain out of her"). Susan Minot, who made a notable debut with her 1986 novel Monkeys, has a laser instinct for the clinching detail and the giveaway phrase. She can...

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