The author of NOGUCHI would do well to stick to non-fiction, if this book is a sample of his ability to tell an imaginary story. New Yorkers who have followed the Radio City Music Hall in its ups and downs will feel that perhaps the inspiration for this novel lies there. In plot structure, this story of a musician caught in the web of commercialized art, on the theory that he is helping remold America's taste, is lamentably weak. In characterization, there seems to be the shell but not the substance of reality. One cares nothing of what happens to the various shadowy love affairs that cross his path, and the denouement in his return to his favorite instrument, the kettledrum, as an escape and a chance to compose his great symphony, is unconvincing.