Adam and Natasha are Laing's children, and these snatches of conversation, jotted down during a six-year period, are intermittently revealing, touching, and uninteresting--much like conversations in other families. Unembellished and printed without explanatory or connective text, they include loving exchanges, exploratory dialogues, parent-child struggles, not-so-simple requests, diverting questions (""how long does forty minutes take?""), and a good proportion of Oedipal treasures and sibling lunges (""I've got more than Adam. . . . I've left more than Adam""). Laing is a sachem figure in many circles so Natasha's shoe problems and Adam's riddles may circulate, but without his name there's little that's special enough to warrant publication.