By People Staff
October 19, 1981 12:00 PM

by Nicholas Meyer

After reviving Sherlock Holmes in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and The West End Horror, Meyer is diversifying. He has signed to direct the film Star Trek II and also written this sentimental novel about the son of a couple who have a trapeze act. The boy loses his parents at 4, and ends up with his eccentric Parisian uncle, a pianist. The boy becomes just about the most precocious preteen in literature. At 7, he has a taste for Wagnerian operas and by 14 he’s met sex, love and death head on. He and his uncle share sardonic wisdom like two old cronies. Because the tale seems autobiographical—Meyer’s mother, who died during his childhood, was a pianist—the tone is warm and authentic. The incongruity of age makes the banter more irritating than fun, though. And heavy-handed foreshadowing destroys the pathos. You don’t have to be a Holmes to guess the bittersweet ending. (Dial, $14.95)