The most surprising detail about this book is the fact that it was written by the author of They Came to Cordura. This second novel is meant to be a half-gay, half-sad, but always breezy account of that, by now, minor institution -- the collegiate goings-on in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., during the spring semester vacation. Told from the viewpoint of an 18 year old freshman co-ed (who fancies herself the counterpart to Holden Caulfield, only more hip?) this book might have been either touching or whimsical but instead it's only flippant. Merrit and her pal Tuggle, both of them disguising their high I.Q's, have come to Lauderdale for a ball. On the beach and in the bars amid the dialectic jazz they run into an assortment of Characters: T.V. Thompson, who ambles around with white cane and dark glasses and calls himself the Mike Todd of Michigan State; Ryder Smith, the Ivy Leaguer from Brown-the costly gift in the simple package; the far-out Basil Demetomos, the Socrates of jazz, et. al. There's even an attempt to send a brigade off to the Cuban Revolution. It's when things have ground to a halt that Merrit casually announces that she's pregnant. Fortunately she seems to think that her parents will understand. Full of quips which are meant to be astute observations and self-conscious apologies for its moments of minor seriousness, the book basically is a shabby fraud.