?are a tasteless mess whether they come on a plate or, as in this case, are served up between boards. The author calls it an epistolary novel, but we call it a ?gatiric stereotype. It's a series of letters from one recent graduate to another who never answers. The constant correspondent is not fazed but continues to write into the void of himself, his family and his job. As himself, he is a newborn not over twenty one -- without an adult ethic or direction. After the death of his father, he is that strange creature -- the legally adult half-orphan and a little put out that his mother walks out to make her own life. His job is with an imaginative encyclopedia (all articles not stolen are invented) which allows him a swing it instant culture and American salesmanship and does get him into the steamy bed of a promiscuous prospect. Led around by his gonads, his contempt for all things theological is monumental -- priests are fags, nuns are very odd indeed -- and, if there were any chance for reader identification or sympathy it might have shock value even if it didn't have humor or point. It boils down to a fast typewriter in the lands of an author who writes only energetically in territory that belongs to the ?inger Man.