Books: On the Side of the Saints

To EVERY MAN A PENNY (345 pp.)—Bruce Marshall—Houghton Mifflin ($3).

If Tammany Hall could award the next Nobel Prize for literature, it might well choose Scotsman Bruce Marshall. Novelist Marshall (Father Malachy's Miracle, Vespers in Vienna) cannily laces his fiction with all the flourishes of the practicing ward heeler. He is always for the little fellow, cries out loudly against the interests, roots piously for religion, winks broadly at the moral delinquencies of the unfortunate.

The hero of To Every Man a Penny is a determinedly kindly French cleric. Abbe Gaston's trouble was that...

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