Novelist E.W. Nash is sometimes as witty as a much more famous Nash and his Great American Real Estate Novel, bulging with chromium Americana, features one of the Funniest shnooks of the year, Dewey Johnson. Dewey, whose name suggests both an admiral and a philosopher, is a product of the mass communications media. He believes in doing exactly what he's told, by anyone. This stultifying nonindividuation has somehow worked in his favor as a rising young real estate salesman. In the fog is a modern peninsular community of Portal, and its new housing development is descibed in acrylic prose as a crazy compendium of ""flat-roofed Tudor, split-level Cotswold, glasswalled Georgian, cantilevered steel Mission, Japanese-derived ranchhouse, reversed Mansard pagoda, prestressed concrete Saltbox,"" etc. The story of Dewey's superconscious, overcorrected rise to the heights of business and marital success is a parody of the Alger theme while sometimes too true to be laughed at.