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Pick of the paperbacks; Wayfarers, by Knut Hamsun, translated from the Norwegian by James McFarlane. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc. $10.95.

The two heroes of this novel take to the seas and roads for different reasons. Edevart, born in an impoverished village in northern Norway, never quite finds a niche in his parochial society. He tastes romance and wealth, but hid dim-wittedness and laziness keep him from gaining lasting success.

August is a globetrotter, whose tales are in the best sea story tradition. While clever and industrious, August is hopelessly naive. He is like a child: nothing can keep his interest for very long. Wandering is his escape from boredom.

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The people in this superbly written tale, who live by the crystal fiords are as cruel and dishonest as the people from the cities, whose new-found technology has begun to corru pt the ancient customs and morals of the provinces.

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