December 12, 1977 12:00 PM

by Jerzy Kosinski

Real people keep cropping up in novels. Here, Charles Lindbergh tries to explain his fondness for German efficiency, and the Manson murder victims turn out to be friends of the main character, a middle European refugee named George Levanter. The book is a series of episodes, and in an early one, Levanter murders a villainous jailer by blowing up a ski lift—a scene straight from James Bond. But most of the tales—disjointed fantasies—are about sex with prostitutes, with repressed women who respond adoringly to rape, and with a beautiful transsexual. A detailed, vividly imagined description of the Manson murders is depraved in its exploitation of a real crime. Kosinski’s world is poisoned by the cruelties that fascinate him. (Houghton Mifflin, $8.95)

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