Civilized humanity, not at its best, is seen with a sensivity to discord and a feeling for contemporary conflict in these 14 stories collected from the New Yorker. Here it is among the married couples, of all ages, apartment house tenants and employees, and families with vexing problems that the narrative threads are drawn and related to the sometimes violent forces leashed only by an imposed urbanity. A brother does not fit into the current family pattern: a couple miss every chance for elusive fortune and find it in their marriage: an innocent out of town playwright is set upon by a too friendly New York City: a husband and wife grow into pensioners: a child's death marks a dying marriage: a city man as a summer farmer clashes with a foreign helper: a radio tunes in on the lives of all in an apartment house: the concentrated benevolence of Christmas wrecks an elevator man: a superintendent's day with the changing families under his care: a child is lost: an elevator man sits in judgement.... there is some point of recognition in each. Concentrated doses of ordinary lives are marked by gentleness rather than bitterness, by precise examination rather than blurred exposition. If there is no point of satiation for the short story reader, this is for the selective.