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August 08, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

MAYBE THE MOON by Armistead Maupin (HarperPerennial: $12.; 305 pp.). Maupin's spoof of Hollywood centers on "Icon Studios," which is "built on the side of the mountain, on two levels, with a connecting escalator that looks like a giant Lucite rodent run." Dwarf actress Cadence Roth achieved fame of sorts as the magical elf in the syrupy screen fantasy "Mr. Woods." Her effort to make a comeback adds the problems of being a little person in Southern California to the angst all faded stars confront. Fans of the author's "Tales of the City" series will recognize more than a little of Mrs. Madrigal in Cadence; her confidante, Jeff Kasabian, suggests a cross between Michael Tolliver and Thack Sweeney. Maupin's breezy style makes this comic novel an excellent diversion for a warm summer afternoon.

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