In this disappointing trifle from the author of A Girl Called Al (1969), a disgruntled younger brother comments from the sidelines as 16-year-old Ben, a spiffy dresser in deliberately outre secondhand duds, falls for a gift who influences him to dress straight, but reverts after she rejects him to his former outasight regalia. The tone is consciously up to the minute, but just what minute, year or decade it reflects is difficult to pin down. The boys banter in a social and political vacuum, and their preoccupation with clothes (of whatever style) and cars (especially one girl's Mustang) seems oddly out of tune with phrases like ""right on"" and ""uptight."" But most of the diction is less specifically ""now"" (""It's dutch treat or no soap,"" for example) and much falls short of any target (Ben's friend Ack Ack, discussing a double date, asks ""if we have to take these cats out and tie on the old feed bag after the concert""). There are other failures too: the ungrammatical, poetry-quoting old-clothes dealer remains a deliberately invented ""character,"" never convincing like the assistant superintendent' in A Girl Called Al, and the boys are just ragtag bits of outer wrapping, fashioned in no particular mode.