||0804103003 ABOUT THE BOOK Fifty FROM THE CRITICS Publishers Weekly Deft, witty and profoundly serious, this new novel by the author of Kramer Vs. Kramer is a confrontation by an ordinary man, Doug Gardner, a sportswriter, of his own principles and the demands of the marketplace. His problem is the common one of divorce, shared custody of two children and a mountain of bills, exacerbated by his fear that neither the love he gives his children nor the money he provides can compensate for the half-life of a divided household. Yet when the owner of his magazine tries to bribe him with a raise if he'll write articles he doesn't believe in, he quits; when he finds another job and comes enticingly close to big bucks, he takes a long look at the compromise involved and opts out. This in spite of the fact that his former wife has married a fabrics millionaire who, as Doug writhes in jealousy, houses the kids in castles and flies them to Europe for the weekend. Sometimes Doug Gardner is a bit too good to be true, but he's a pleasure to have around, and it's a jaded reader indeed who won't be rooting for him all the way. Literary Guild alternate. (August 14) Library Journal Doug Gardnera New York City sports columnist, divorced, with joint custody of his two childrenis fast approaching 50. In the course of this novel, which takes him to that milestone, Doug is confronted not only with a body that is beginning to fall apart but with emotional upheavals common to many menhis ex-wife becomes more successful than he and marries a younger, wealthy man; his adolescent daughter is pulled toward her stepfather's lifestyle; he loses his job and makes some compromises in his career; his father dies; and just when his son is getting ready for college, the woman he loves wants to get married and have a baby. Doug is typical Corman ( Kramer vs . Kramer )low-key, funny, gentle, liberatedand even if his grapplings with aging and life resolve themselves too neatly, his seriocomic story is very appealing. Francine Fialkoff, ``Library Journal''