This snappy, nuts-and-bolts guide to the world and role of literary agents is aimed at the aspiring author who is something of a novice when it comes to the business end of things. Larsen strives to humanize his subject, but there are lots of practical tips here, too: on self-assessment and manuscript preparation, on finding and choosing an agent, on the wider publishing scene and what to look for in terms of contracts, serial rights, etc. Larsen (himself a San Francisco-based agent) offers guidelines, as well, on the author/agent relationship, conceived metaphorically as a marriage. This is a bit fluffy in spots, and readers will certainly need LMP or the new Literary Agents of North America: 1984-85 Marketplace (Author Aid, 1984) to identify specific agents and their interests. Still, what Larsen sets out to do, he does with style. Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.