Picks and Pans Review: But Not to Keep

updated 07/09/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/09/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Roger Kahn

Seven years after his affecting reminiscence of baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers, The Boys of Summer, veteran sportswriter Roger Kahn has attempted his first novel. (He previously tried to break free of sports with books on '60s student unrest and Jews in America, without much success.) His protagonist is an approaching-40 Jewish author grappling with the collapse of one marriage, the start of a second, bigoted in-laws and the confused loyalties of his adolescent son. Kahn's writing is often wryly perceptive—especially in its description of his protagonist's dealings with a divorce lawyer—but the book suffers from too much pathos and too little plot. Like a Triple A baseball team, it offers a passable summer afternoon's diversion but is palpably minor league. (Harper & Row, $9.95)

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