A short novel, presumably from the German, carries a simple meaning and message and tells of the sudden blindness of Heinrich Mittenhaufen, a forty year old schoolteacher. In the days which follow his tragedy, he finds not only security but also suspension through a box of small bricks- the gift of a friend- which enable him to play a game of make-believe in which he follows the lives of those he loves. But although the bricks further an unreal withdrawal from the world, they do not ease his return home and the successive humiliations of his blindness; their failure heightens his despair until a visit to an old man who had survived a concentration camp and had learned the value- and the limitations-of the bricks instructs him in the rules of a game which cannot be played alone. An undemonstrative but often effective small story with larger implications- but without the sentimental stress of a Paul Gallico- which might assure an American audience. Limited.