Despite disinflation and the prospect of tax-code reform (or at least revision), guides to real-estate investment continue to flood the marketplace. This sketchy primer, a typical example of the upbeat genre, is notable mainly for a misleading subtitle; aspiring operators who faithfully follow its can-do directives, even at the lowest of three prescribed commitment levels, will find themselves engaged in a full-time pursuit. Not yet 30, Garrison has by his own account become a millionaire applying the techniques he commends here. That many are callous and deceptive seems not to greatly trouble this self-professed believer in the American dream. ""All good deals have one thing in common,"" he confides in a discussion of how to unearth promising residential properties. ""The sellers are desperate."" In like vein, he offers a sharp-practice checklist on preparing scruffy houses and apartments for sale or rental, which runs to advisories like dabbing holes in the wall with toothpaste. For Garrison, owners are marks who can be finessed by savvy go-getters. He is particularly fond of unfortunates either facing or in the toils of foreclosure. In his book, lenders in general and bankers in particular are also susceptible to manipulation, while tenants represent a ""necessary evil"" to be accorded the shortest possible shrift. So far as selling is concerned, Garrison blandly shifts gears and speeds quickly by the difficulties he touched upon in reviewing tricks of the acquisition trade. Conspicuous by its absence in Garrison's rosy appraisal, which includes a surfeit of straw-man case studies, is any systematic briefing on the downside of real-estate investment--the essential illiquidity of property commitments, the vagaries of local building codes, tax uncertainties, the renaissance of rent-control laws, and other pitfalls awaiting the unwary. There are far more reliable guides for cash-poor beginners. One such is Albert J. Lowry's Hidden Fortunes (1983); a more recent possibility is Marvin T. Levin's cautionary How to Profit on the Real Estate Roller Coaster (p. 768).