This novel made news last winter when it collided with Richard Martin Stern's The Tower in terms of their filmdom futures -- both were bought -- so a compromise was reached and there will be only one movie, combining some characters from each as well as the titles -- namely The Towering Inferno. The National Curtainwall Building is 66 stories of gold-tinted glass and golden aluminum, the bottom 30 floors commercial, the top 36 residential. One sleety night fire breaks out on the 17th floor, begins boiling upward through various holes, and just as it seems to be dying, leaps to the top floors where 100 diners are trapped in the top floor Promenade Room. Also trapped throughout the building, with elevator service cut off, are dozens of two-ply dolts who were sheer cardboard when Grand Hotel was erected. Documentary effects, the flow of fire upward through combustibles, leaking downward on liquids, are gripping, as is the firefighting, and it probably will make one helluva singeing flick.