Most of these short stories are set in Israel and they are chiefly concerned with the State, its people and the expatriates who brink assimilation and never quite make it. The finest of these is a simple tale of first love called ""Sun in my Eyes"" in which Mr. Samuel has recorded with astonishing accuracy the absurdity of sudden tragedy as experienced by two passengers in a runaway automobile. There is a kind of subtle malevolence in ""The Beautiful City"" which satirizes the motley mock politics of a small Israeli town. A mural is unveiled consisting entirely of little plaques accrediting the American Zionist donors and a water fountain, given by the Feigenbaums of St. Louis, cannot be connected to the water main because of insufficient funds. In one or two of these Mr. Samuel accomplishes an interesting feat of science fiction in which he projects Israel's future in the sciences. Unfortunately, too many of these stories are almost amateurishly melodramatic and this always seems to happen when the author strays from the Middle East. But a fair collection all in all.