Books: Sleazy Street AFOOT IN A FIELD OF MEN

by Pat Ellis Taylor Atlantic Monthly Press 166 pages; $6.95

With a haircut, a couple of breath mints, and wearing its job-hunting clothes, this bluesy ramble about being down but not quite out in Texas might pass as the loosest-jointed novel in years. As things are, call it a collection of related stories, some short, some tall, and some too lackadaisical to stand up and be measured. Good stuff, anyway, whose major virtue is that it is extraordinarily lifelike. Which is to say, messy, disorganized, contrary, repetitious, tacky, funny, if you are in the mood for that sort of thing -- and in need of laundering.

The narrator and central figure,...

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