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Though it may some as a surprise to the coffee houses, all of the Voice's much vaunted ""immediacy and involvement"" seems in this retrospective collection little more than provincial and precious. The Voice hit the Village in the autumn of '55, at a time when, according to editor Wolf, the McCarthy vulgarities had ""withered the possibilities of a true dialogue between people""; it was the premise of his newspaper to attack the pieties of liberalism, ""pursue absurdities"" and ""jam the gears of creeping automatism"". So much for the manifestos the results were quite different. If the Reader is any criterion, the Voice in years spouted the following revolutionary spiels: Steve Allen debating Hentoff on the mertis of TV critic Jack O'Brian; Ben Hecht and Max Eastman shedding tears over old doing a question-and-answer bit on the Village girl and the Village male; Joseph K. being nauseated at a Mike Todd party; Seymour Krim on with a Homosexual ""shocker"" and getting a straight-faced answer from David McReynolds; Alexander King talking about dope and the ""pusher""; Bill Manville investigating saloons, Howard Fertig job-hunting, John Wilcock a $40 a week artist or the blind date; Jean Shepherd priding himself on a radio gag; thoughts re Roosevelt's death, a ""gypsy"" lady, a Bowery film star, Bedford Street's ""cutest houses"", jazz, poetry and . At their best, the articles are copy-boy New Yorker or Esquire; most of the time, however, it's simply the ""new"" espresso dialectic: slaphappy and divine, radical and awful spare, real-hip. Fortunately, the Reader also boasts Norman Mailer's by now famous five columns and America's foremost way-outers, Ginsberg and And these three to make the scene. There will also be cartoons by Feiffer.

Publisher: Doubleday