Tough Guys Don't Dance

by Norman Mailer. Random House, $16.95. According to report, Mr. Mailer has described his latest novel, which consists of a confused murder mystery combined with a bit of gothic spookery, as a potboiler, written purely for money. According to Dr. Johnson, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.” Mr. Mailer, no blockhead, therefore cannot be reproached for attempting the potboiler, a genre for which, unhappily, he appears to have small talent.