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Book Report: Worthy of note: A fictitious life, rock solid prose

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"Driving on the Rim," by Thomas McGuane (Knopf, $26.95), is definitely not a novel about the tire shortage during World War II, when some people actually did drive on their rims.

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No, the wildly talented McGuane has created a character who metaphorically has driven his whole life "on the rim."

His character is I. B. "Berl" Pickett, M.D. His Christian name is Irving Berlin Pickett and was named by his mother, a very Christian -- nay crazy -- woman, a Pentecostal to the core.

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