Pick of the paperbacks; Wayfarers, by Knut Hamsun, translated from the Norwegian by James McFarlane. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc. $10.95.

The two heroes of this novel take to the seas and roads for different reasons. Edevart, born in an impoverished village in northern Norway, never quite finds a niche in his parochial society. He tastes romance and wealth, but hid dim-wittedness and laziness keep him from gaining lasting success.

August is a globetrotter, whose tales are in the best sea story tradition. While clever and industrious, August is hopelessly naive. He is like a child: nothing can keep his interest for very long. Wandering is his escape from boredom.

The people in this superbly written tale, who live by the crystal fiords are as cruel and dishonest as the people from the cities, whose new-found technology has begun to corru pt the ancient customs and morals of the provinces.

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