A first collection of stories by the author of Pride of the Bimbos. As was evidenced in last year's much applauded Union Dues, Sayles has a sure feel both for how the counterculture thinks and how the lumpen speak. These knacks serve him very well in the opening story here, ""Home""--young girls doing temporary secretarial work in Boston--and in one called ""Schiffman's Ape,"" about a married couple, primate behaviorists out on field studies, having a little anthropological crisis of their own. Best, however, is ""The 7-10 Split"": a woman's bowling league--exact inflections of plain people's speech and thought, generous and un-snide. But most of the rest of the stories, a good two-thirds of the book, slip precipitously from these. A related series revolving around the hitchhiking adventures of a young kid, Brian McNeill, is slack and something you've seen a hundred times before. And there's the much-anthologized ""Breed,"" a purple treatment of gelding Out West. When Sayles pays minute attention to a slice-of-life, he scores; when he's feckless, his stories are not much more compelling than watching cars zip beneath an underpass.