the Gulf Coast of Florida with drugs innthe holds of their ships. That is wherenthe similarities cease. Walker, through angritty story, proves himself to be sensitivenand sensible, aware of the little thingsnthat make up quotidian existence and ofnthe values that help give that existencenspirit and reason. Norman, for all that henoflfers in prose that is certainly readable,nmight as well have gone deep-sea fishingninstead of writing Midnight Water; itnis devoid of any significance beyondnthat which the author himself mightnexperience.nWalker’s is a first-person narrativentold by a semiworldly man who is ansmall-town man by choice and inclination.nHe could have undoubtedly madenit in nearby Boston, but he preferred notnto. He is more comfortable in his hometown,nwhere all of his old buddies—mostnof whom never left because of their limitednattempts at going anywhere—^stillnmeet to discuss the Red Sox over drafts.nHe is not an underachiever or a failure,njust a man who is trying to make sense ofnOul in lAfft rU’ltlnDiirin;; (lie IWiOs aaiviM lorn llauk-nnkept in sliiipe by c:irrviiij> haiiniTs liiimilesnin (.ampu.s iind convi-ntiDii dernonstratinn.”.nagainst the wii-ki-d [‘:.s(ahli.slinK-nl.nlUit lia’in}> rediree(i-d hi.s undiminishedni(.k-()l()gi(.’al /i-al inlo die ph’sicallynstreniiDiis ai’liviiii-s ol elcitoralnpolities, this ehainpion of the workinj;nclass now liiids otlier was to tlex hisnphotogenic niiiscies. Keecnily 1r. Ilaxilennpaid !i2..S9’S j^liis air tare to join a smalln}{roiip ol’ l.os .-Xnjjeles Dodgers lans in anwei-k ol’simulated spring training at thenDodgers” training eanip in ‘ero Ueach.nNorida. The price lor a week of sunshineniuiil ciilisthenies may put it a hit out ofnreach for the sueaty proles lr. ILixdiiinprolessi-s tc) rc-pie.stnl. but his wife, janenI’onda. thinks they’ve found a barg;iin. Inn26inChronicles of Culturenhis life, which is no small task Moreover,nhe tacidy acknowledges that he has annobligation to find that meaning, not onlynfor himself, but because he is the fathernof a teenaged daughter whom he hopesnwill eventually address the same issuesnin her own life. He is a man who realizesnthat there are a few chances, opportunities,navailable in any given life, and thatnthe selection of one closes off at leastnanother. Certainly everybody knowsnthat (or claims that he does), but henthinks about the ramifications and thenpermutations that result from makingnselections. He must, for example, explainnto his 16-year-old daughter whynshe shouldn’t elope with a no-accountnpunk beyond just saying that “he’s anloser.” He feels somehow obliged to putnlife into some kind of perspective or ordernfor his beer-drinking buddies, who tendnnot to see beyond the next glass. As hensays to one of them who whines aboutnthe life he imagines he could have had:nLlBKRAI. Cl’ITl RlQn’Hey … knock it off, will you? Younwanted to get noticed fifteen yearsnmSEMLl CLUB BANDnmmmmm^n•• i^^’iw^«•’V^’i*^^m «••• ^ i^^— Ina statetnent to tin- press, she said that shen•full)- supports” her husbands ik-iisii m u >np:iniiipate in the lloriila trainingIx-eauscn”it”s less expensi e than seeing a pstliiairisl.”nl-AaetK’ what inexpensive treatmentsn.Mr. Ilaydeii’s baiting instnielors use lorneases of iiieg:ilomania. grandiose ilelusi(n)ns. and terminal ad< ileseenei- were n