One of those noisy novels about a pubescent passage--less a rite than a medley of eructations--which takes place in a Jewish neighborhood in Canada of the '20's and Depression '30's. The author, presumably intending to ground his characters in what will be undeniable Life, plays upon bodily orifices like a tuba. On almost every page an armpit streams, a nose drips or a groin erupts. While Gabriel (ne Yechial) Gottesman, of a recently emigrated family, becomes a pseudo Anglo-Canadian via the mysteries of English literature, street and school mores, and heated females of various ages. Among the Dos Passos vignettes of the times, the squalls of Polish neighbors, disagreeable relatives, and the grappling, gasping boys and girls of summer sands there's a high point or two, notably the burlesque comedy routines. But Gabriel is like seltzer: it soon loses its pop.