Alexander Graham Bell, whose centennial is being celebrated this year, is the subject of this biography -- and its timeliness is its chief value. Otherwise, it is run-of-the-mill, pedestrian staff. Bell wasn't a glamorous figure. This covers his boyhood in Scotland, migration to Canada, his career as teacher of speech and inventor, his laborious arrival at fame and fortune, and his death in 1922. Too bad the biographer feels impelled to go into such diatribes against the nothingnesses that go across the wires today, and such purple passages as he indulges in regarding the worldshaking significance of the invention of the telephone. The book would have meant more had there been more thoughtful discussion of the scientific problems with which Boll wrestled --or some sense of period and background. As it stands, the scientific aspects are negligible and the world he lived in seems a vaccuum- so far as this book is concerned. Too bad -- a good opportunity missed.