As if New Yorkers haven't had enough lately, here comes E.L. Doctorow with a splashdown of two immense, seemingly immobile human figures in the middle of the harbor. Casting curvy shadows on the Empire State Building, the two naked bodies (male and female) throw New Yorkers into a state of panic--martial law is declared, frenzy and fanaticism surface, and the usual small percentage tries to carry on. Among the latter are one Professor Wallace Creighton, who will become a member of a select investigating committee; and jazz musician Red Bloom and his earthbound chick, Sugarbush, who make it through the bewildering year when the city tries to cope...one way is by lending their musical talent to the Salvation Army. New York has long been a good choice for fictional studies in mass madness. Its real reaction may be anyone's guess but the author writes well enough to make it seem as if this particular breakdown could happen. And, believe it or not, there is a scientific explanation for what is finally fondly referred to as the ""Tarzan and Jane"" phenomenon.