Picks and Pans Review: A Game Men Play

updated 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Vance Bourjaily

Chink Peters is a short, muscular man with a beautiful Mongol mother and a Russian refugee horse-trainer father. The story begins with the grisly murder, in a Greenwich Village apartment house, of the two daughters of a diplomat who had been Chink's commanding officer in World War II. After a couple of hundred pages about a trip to the Pacific to deliver some racehorses (with dozens of flashbacks to Chink's war exploits), he goes to New York and moves into the girls' apartment. The game that men play, it turns out, is that the stronger take whatever their friends value most—including, here, a horse and a wife. This is a big, old-fashioned novel that's fun to read because it has a macho protagonist and plenty of willing women and churning action. Bourjaily is on the staff of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, and this is his eighth novel. Give it a B minus. (Dial, $9.95)

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