In the foreword, Miss Stevens tells us that she has never approved of the life story ""as told to -- "" and this is, therefore, a straight third-person biography, based on information which she has furnished Mr. Crichton. Miss Stevens was born in the Bronx, on a date which is never revealed, of mixed Jewish and Norwegian parentage, and has led a life of satisfying and almost unbroken artistic success. The story of her early training in this country and Europe, of her happy marriage to the Hungarian actor, Walter Surovy, and the accounts of her various debuts are all set forth in curiously uncompelling prose. One thing the biography does make clear, and that is the tremendous amount of work it requires to turn out a singer, or singing actor, of the first rank. Miss Stevens now commands top salary at the Metropolitan Opera (an almost unheard of achievement for a mezzo-soprano) and in the concert world. It is apparent that she has earned it. It's problematical whether this book wins many new admirers for the lady who has been hailed by some as the best Carmen of our day, but it will be very welcome to those who already are her devotees. Important also for music collections.