Lyman's Saga of the Comstock Lode (Scribner) thinly fictionized -- this is the shortest cut to a definition of this new Vardis Fisher novel. The facts themselves need no embroidering and Fisher has no inhibitions that would give him pause in laying it on with a trowel. It is a dramatic bit of American history, it has a certain perverted glamour and romance, but it is sordid, raw, disillusioning, satiric, as the pattern of both story and factual background take form. Fisher uses Eilley Bowers as his central character, a woman of overweaning ambition and egotism, who was determined to make herself the ""queen of the Comstock Lode"" and who was ruthless in getting her way. Nature played her successive scurvy tricks, but on the whole one feels small sympathy with her. It's not a story for the thin-skinned; mining towns in frontier days were not New England finishing schools. So 'ware librarians. This book is being issued simultaneously by Caxton Printers, Fisher's original publishers. Don't look for another Children of God in this. It is a bit of history brought to life, rather than an original creative job, against an historical background.