These ten stories deal with the private ordeals of adolescence--realizing the irreversibility of a smashed bicycle (William Maxwell), trying to stomach the discrepancy between what's right and parental behavior (Faulkner)--and they make good reading. From Isaac Babel to James Baldwin, the characters share a common feeling of separateness, an uneasy uniqueness, that ironically aligns the Russian Jew who avoids his music lessons with the Harlem Negro who avoids every reality except his music. Alan Sillitoe, Hemingway, conrad, Jean Stafford and Carson McCullers are also represented and Irvin Faust's ""Philco Baby"" is a classic Case of the urban zombie. But: will the ""alienated"" pick up a book addressed to him? don't ""loners"" like to make their own Choice? There are better collections available--many in paperback--and John Simon's recent Fourteen for Now (p. 1267, J-517), which supplies his on-the-spot reactions, is also a more ambitious selection.