Another puzzler. Again a book that you can sell, if you have personal enthusiasm for it, to the type of customer who liked the play, Death Takes A Holiday. But a book that, lacking the word of mouth recommendation, may be stillborn -- and it is too good to merit that fate. We liked it, for its genuine handling of fantasy material, its vigorous picture of small town life, its salty dialogue, its originality, and most of all for the delicious picture of the old grandfather and the small boy. It has an unusual quality, indefinable charm, a whimsical, imaginative and extraordinarily real vitality. The setting is a New England town, and the story revolves around an old man's determination to keep Death off, even if the world should be stalled for a bit in the process. The grandfather has somewhat a Mr. Chips quality, he likes his pipe, his occasional nip, ""never could abide these holier'n thou folks -- if a man's a good Republican -- and maybe a Mason -- that's enough for me."" A refreshingly different book, and one that will win strong advocates, but no general herd.