There's nothing in these short stories so conspicuously startling as Brodeur's last novel, The Stunt Man, although one of them, ""The Sick Fox,"" is the basis for his first book of that name. Collectively they are quietly well-crafted and while they represent experience we might all have shared, they sometimes invest it with a certain wistful quality (""Blue Lawns"") or menace (""The Spoiler""). Brodeur can write on close terms with nature and childhood on occasion -- viz. ""The Turtle"" and ""A War Story"" while the recurrence of certain themes suggests their personal origins -- the intimations of a father's heart attack (in three of the stories) and the actuality of a child's death so gracefully handled in ""Hydrography."" All in ali they present a candid and attractive mien.