Books: A Generation of Vipers THE RED WHITE AND BLUE

by John Gregory Dunne Simon & Schuster; 475 pages; $18.95

Having sharpened his teeth on True Confessions and Dutch Shea, Jr., John Gregory Dunne now takes the "big bite," Mailerese for manly portions of theme and experience. The Red White and Blue even has some of the portentous overtones of Mailer's An American Dream, and like the Champ, Dunne has an acute sense of evil and a highly developed sniffer for the hydrants of power. He is also wickedly funny, if your taste runs to hilarious funerals, jocular murder trials and droll executions: "The warden and I had the prime rib. Yorkshire pudding and strawberry shortcake . . . Last meals....

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