Bookends: Oct. 16, 1989

THE CURRENT CLIMATE

by Bruce Jay Friedman

Atlantic Monthly Press

200 pages; $18.95

At 58, Harry Towns is a successful screenwriter, but not lately. His half- written play about the Spanish armada has run aground (the problem, he senses, is dramatic confrontation, or lack of it; a storm wrecked the Spanish fleet, so Sir Francis Drake and the Duke of Parma never set eyes on each other). His accountant, sounding increasingly detached, tells him that if he doesn't have a payday soon, he will have to sell his house in New York and move -- has it really come to this?...

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