Next best or worst (obviously a minority opinion) to reading The Prize, is reading Mr. Wallace's exegesis of how it came to be written from the day when he turned to his wife and said: ""Sylvia. . . has anyone ever written a novel about the Nobel Prizes?"" From that memorable moment some sixteen years onward, the research and interviews; correspondence; ""christening"" of his characters; all through the ""gestation"" and ""creation"" to the ""birth"" of the book and its reception all over the world. An appendix lists the work chart of the oeuvre. . . . In a recent interview in Life (not included here) Mr. Wallace said: ""There's no question about it. . . I am the best there is."" And the most mouth?