Facing the Lions

BOOKS

SHORT REVIEWS:

by Phoebe Adams

by Tom Wicker. Viking, $7.95. Mr. Wicker, formerly Washington bureau chief for the New York Times, has written an enormous novel about, naturally, Washington. It follows the vaguely interlocked affairs of a senator who rises to fall and of a journalist who survives. It is a thoroughly journalistic novel, displaying immense practical knowledge of the ways of politicians and deploying a small army of characters who all. regardless of some dutiful stabs at local dialect, talk the same idiom and exist as sources of information rather than as people.