The Atom Station

by Halldor Laxness, translated by Magnus Magnusson. Second Chance Press, $16.95. The Icelandic Nobel Prize winner published this novel in 1948. It appeared in Britain in 1961 but has never before been issued in the United States, possibly because it was considered pro-Communist, possibly because Mr. Laxness’s sardonic, deadpan style of comedy has never attracted much interest in this country. Such neglect is regrettable, for his plague-on-all-your-houses view of government is wickedly attractive, his absurd political and artistic characters are internationally recognizable, and his dim view of atomic enterprise is no longer either exotic or unreasonable.