ride to critical success.nThe acclaim has been his, the formulanstill works. It calls for explicit agnosticism,nin varying doses, or at least anfastidious distaste for organized religion,nespecially Catholicism. Adventures withnhomosexuals are also necessary, andnthey must be genteel and educationalnexperiences, since homosexuals arendeemed tolerant and enlightened beings.nSimmons cites a telling example: hisnprotagonist’s doctor, a homosexual, informsnhim that his mistress who letnhim sleep with his head on her stomachnis therefore a friend as well. This remark,nbe it crude and slugheaded, isnparaded by Simmons as a veritablenthunderbolt, its presence on the pagendwarfing, with measured understatement,neverything else in the chapter.nThings such as this stand out starklynin Wrinkles; they are difficult to miss.n1 he most predictable ingredient innSimmons’ best-seller recipe is preoccupation,nno, obsession with sex. Here,nhis kinship with Gilder’s stereotypenlooms large, for the bombardment ofnsexual meanderings is almost clinicallynconsistent with the fantasies of thenburnt-out refugees from the war of thensexes that The Naked Nomad is devotednto. Again, the author salts it with hisngoatish philosophy: “If the lover’s hiddenndesire is frustrated, he seeks greaternsatisfaction from sex; if this fails, lovendies.” Simmons’ tone changes when henwrites about copulation and sexual opportunism—itnbecomes harder, morenintrospective, as if to compensate, withnhis character, for a growing coldnessntoward the world.nBut it may well be instead that Simmonsnabandons his pretensions of writingnserious literature with the sex, andnbetrays an easily recognizable desirento sell copies, sell them to anyone. Hisnsailors’ language and insatiability arenfree of preliminaries. For him, sex isnpornography, and no more. Through itnthere is not a hint of seriousness orncommitment; his “falling in love” withnsomebody after his marriage dissolves isnnot in the least convincing or interesting.nIt is a front for writing about sex,nas if Simmons worried that he wrotentoo many chapters without it.nVr rinkles falls into a familiar category,nas Simmons hopes it would. Hisnbook, with all its speechmaking, is anconfused, pernicious sham. His prota­nWouk’s American EposnHerman Wouk: The Winds of War;nLittle, Brown & Co.; Boston. Warnand Remembrance; Little, Brown &nCo.; Boston.nby Otto J. ScottnJ. he Thirties were the golden daysnof radio. It was then that people turnedntoward their sets as to a dream machine.nRadio retained that special quality evennas the decade drew toward its close andnthe world toward war. Radio personalitiesnloomed as giants in the mental lifenof the nation, and a writer who fednmaterial to such a personality was considerednsuccessful. Herman Wouk wasnone such writer, and the personality fornwhom he wrote was Fred Allen, whosengravelly voice and acerbic wit convulsednmillions.nLater Wouk was swept into the warneffort and, after a year promoting bondnsales, served during the Solomon andnother campaigns in the Pacific aboardntwo consecutive destroyer-minesweepers.nThe first of these ships was decorated;non the second Wouk—a Lieutenant—wasnexecutive officer, and secondnin command. In all he was at sea threenyears, and during that time he worked,nbetween duties and dangers, on his firstnnovel.nThat novel, now largely forgotten.nOtto Scott’s latest book is the SecretnSix: John Brown and the AbolitionistnMovement.nnngonist ends up knowing less about lifenin middle age than as a child. It is anrun-of-themill novel about an author’snself-indulgent fantasies, coated with ancheap sheen of nostalgia, which, ofncourse, always sells. The tragedy ofnSimmons’ Wrinkles is its gimmickyntriteness, a tragedy for us, the readers,nand for him. Dnwas called Aurora Dawn, It was publishednin 1946 and was chosen by thenBook-of-the-Month Club. As everyonenknows, that meant instant commercialnsuccess, wide distribution and attention,nand general respect from publisher’snrow. Many writers struggle for years fornthat particular sort of home run; itnhas been known to unhinge several whonwere briefly so lucky. But Wouk wasnno accidental success. His second novel,nCity Boy, was selected for condensationnby the Reader’s Digest and was madeninto a movie. Two such successes in anrow are rare enough to indicate the appearancenof an author with a remarkablenrapport with large numbers of people.nWouk’s next effort was also unusual:nhe wrote a play. It was mounted onnBroadway, itself a triumph, and wasntitled The Traitor. It dealt with a betrayernof atomic secrets and came undernimmediate liberal attack. The theme wasntimely: the first Hiss trial had beennheld, and the air was heavy with fearsnabout spies and Soviet threats, but itnwas avant in the sense that nobodynrealized that such secrets were, in truth,nbeing betrayed. It was clear that Wouknwas closely attuned to the general audiencenand also clear that despite hisnsuccess, he was not inclined to paynhomage to the powerful liberals of thentheater.nWouk’s third published novel, ThenCaine Mutiny, appeared in 1950. Itsncentral character was a paranoid U.S.nnaval officer in command of a small ship.n11nChronicles of Culturen