Bacon, a Hollywood columnist and friend of Gleason, has written an entertaining, if adulatory, biography of the poor Brooklyn kid and small-time pool hustler who grew up to become one of television's most famous comedians. Through the cooperation of Gleason and his family and friends, Bacon has spiced his narrative with personal anecdotes that pull no punches. Gleason is shown to be a hard-drinking, hard-living, big spender, whose natural comedy talents are unparalleled but very difficult to live with. Though Gleason declares that he is not an alcoholic, there's a a lot of emphasis on booze in this book. Marcia L. Perry, Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield, Mass.