It is almost ludicrous that the twenty-five year old Texas, prize-winning pianist should be the subject of a biography by as mature and sophisticated a musician as Abram Chasins. One can but assume that in undertaking such a work, the authors are capitulating to the wave of virtual hysteria which has surrounded the meteoric career of this tall, romantic interpreter of keyboard music. The body of this book discusses Van Cliburn's short life, his training--by his pianist mother,- presents documented approval of his work by various prominent musicians, and indicates that, besides being an absolute pianistic whiz,he is a paragon of charm and virtue. For those who are serious about music and the deportment of dedicated musicians, all this will seem a little embarrassing, resembling, as it does, an extended article for a fan magazine. But for the thousands of Americans who have been captured by Cliburn's youth, his fortissimo, his unquestionable technique, and his vivid Texasicity, the essential presumption of this book will pass undetected.