Two fine stories dealing with cauterizing experiences in youth arid the crippling effects of environment--change, isolation, dislocation are unseen antagonists. In Pennsylvania Gothic, a deadspot off the Main Line, young Charlie Trimble is drawn to the glancing brightness of silver knives and only through the obdurate spirit of an old woman next door defeats his death-directed inheritance. . . . Dickens spent six months or longer in a blacking factory when summarily removed from school; James Bannister, rudely transplanted from the U.S. to mediocre Sopworth in England where he is socially and intellectually diminished, escapes via false, phantom memories of his golden days at home and grows up to be a Jeremiah of the Far Right, sponsoring his illusory dream of America the Beautiful That Was over the airways. . . . Both, while essentially subtle, are identifiable and involving and should speak to the young.